Nick is surprised when his father refuses to do the Christmas festivities in the house, and he decides to find a way to learn why. Physical Phil continues his tradition of pretending to be an architect when his parents come for a visit, which irritates his girlfriend. Eddie freaks out when Janet gives him a very personal Christmas gift. Owen and Alison end up in bed, but their happiness as a couple is soon put onto a test.
They say "you can't go home again". Perhaps because everything you left has changed; or worse, stayed the same. They also tell you "never to burn your bridges". That's so when you do try to go home, you won't find everyone there hates you.
When Nick Garrett was 18 he packed up his truck and said goodbye for a summer road trip, but somehow one summer turned into 10 years. He's since become a literary celebrity in Manhattan, dating supermodels, and living off the fame and fortune from his best-selling novel and movie - a story based on his hometown friends. To the literary world, Nick defined a generation... to his hometown, he's betrayed them by telling secrets and painful truths, or worse yet, leaving some of them out entirely.
The book hurt them all, especially Hannah, the love of his life, and Eddie, a good friend he was supposed to go into business with 10 long years ago. Now, without inspiration for a new book, Nick returns to his hometown and finds that while the townies haven't changed, their feelings towards him have. To make matters worse his new job teaching at the local college makes him part of the college crowd on the "other side" of October Road... something no townie aspires to... and creates an even deeper rift between him and his former friends. The bridge is burned, again.
Regardless, Nick's going to stick around for a while and see if he can repair his relationships. Plus, he has a sneaking suspicion that Hannah's precocious and brilliant son just might be his too.