Night Train to Pittsburgh
Cosmas Sarvey moves to a new institution for boys and enters a public vocational high school after 8 years with vicious nuns in a Catholic orphanage. Awkward and lonely he makes friends with two boys who are very different, but have been pals since childhood. Jim was molested by a priest as a child and is now wild and rebellious. Ray is a quiet artist whose family is pushing him to join the priesthood. They expose Cosmas to a range of ideas and experience as he looks forward to what lies beyond the rigid boundaries of his life so far.
After a brief sojourn with unwelcoming relatives and a humiliating episode trying to impress a girl, he moves into a seedy hotel room. Unexpected advances from an older gentleman he considered a mentor and the suicide of his friend Jim mar his early attempts at independence. During the year of living on his own, he survives a terrible automobile accident and an inept romance with a teenage girl who has trouble adjusting to this strange youth drifting like a lost child in search of a niche in the land of his birth.
Rooming with his father in West Bridgewater, he’s made keenly aware of the midnight train to Pittsburgh, knowing it will provide him a means of escape. Unable to adjust to a society from which he has been so long estranged he eventually realizes he must indeed find a land more kind than home in order to find himself.