Bill Willis (Kris Kristofferson) is a famous American writer who lives with his family - wife Marcella
(Barbara Hershey), daughter Channe (Leelee Sobieski) and adopted son Billy (Jesse Bradford) -
in Paris during the 1960s and 70s. As a World War II veteran, he is still haunted by his experiences in the
Pacific. After a few years in Paris, Willis moves the family back the the U.S., to Long Island, New York.
He fears that his children will become rootless "Euro-trash brats" and explains that the reason for the
return is his congenital heart disease, which is worsening. Channe and Billy attend the local high school,
where they fit in no better than they did in Paris. The teens react in individual ways to their new
surroundings as their father works on his final World War II novel and his health deteriorates.