Set against the tumult of the 1960’s, including the fabled Summer of Love, contentious civil rights and anti-war demonstrations, and the shocking assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, teenager Paul Milton suddenly finds the racial tensions and intensifying War in Vietnam are no longer just distant events playing out on TV, but bitter upheavals fraught with potentially fatal consequences that could tear apart both his family and country.
Gum-chewing Paul’s plans for a carefree summer are turned upside-down when the turmoil plaguing America descends upon his family’s otherwise quiet split-level suburban home. As another school year draws to a close, Paul’s relaxing, gone-swimming, baseball-playing days of summer beckon until Mary – his older, anti-Establishment sister – drifts in from college with her granola-munching roommate just in time to attend their brother Chris’ high school graduation. After a commencement ceremony marked by the valedictorian’s inflammatory protest speech, Chris – recently jilted in his pursuit of glory on the football field – begins making noise about marching off to boot camp instead of going to college. This unexpected prospect offends Mary’s strident anti-war sensibilities, and the spat between the two siblings quickly escalates into a Vietnam-sized conflagration that leaves the whole family reeling.