The Way Back

Jack Elliot is stepping into midlife on top of his game. The flip, wise-cracking professor is up for tenure at a prestigious college and his books sell like hotcakes from coast to coast. He’s living the good life in a posh Connecticut shoreline town with all the trappings: marble fireplaces, sandy beaches, private boarding schools. The man is hitting on all cylinders and his future never seemed brighter.

That is, until the bottom falls out.

In a blink, seemingly every aspect of Jack’s world gets turned upside down. He faces trumped up academic harassment charges, discovers his wife has been unfaithful and his teenage son bullied by high school thugs. Enter the seductive and mysterious Rachel Pond into Jack’s life as well as troubling memories from a family swimming pool party that went horribly wrong, and suddenly he has more on his plate than he can handle.

Such circumstances take their toll, and the seemingly ordinary Elliot family is thrust down a path of uncertainty and upheaval it never intended to take. This becomes a tale of the spiritual emptiness that plagues families who seem to have it all, the emotional frailty that can strike anyone or any time without warning. As events run head-on into each other, the truth of the Elliots’ inner demons come closer to the surface: a father in a rush to make a living, a mother creating a world of escape and diversion, a teenage son secretly battling his own guilt and demons. Each has thrown up walls of isolation and protection, resulting in strangers living under the same roof.

This is a tale of death and rebirth, a story about a family whose lives have been rearranged and redefined by tragedy. The Way Back conveys simple messages about the complexities of life: how we need to accept our loved ones just as they are, their gifts and beauty along with their flaws and inner pain. In so doing, we discover what matters most.

-Jeff Turner

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