In the grip of his addictions, Patrick Melrose must fly to New York to collect his father’s ashes. Over the course of a lost Manhattan weekend, Patrick’s remorseless search for satisfaction, haunted by old acquaintances and insistent inner voices, sends him into a nightmarish spiral, including a disastrous date with the girl of his dreams. Alone in his hotel room later that night, he pushes body and mind to the very edge – desperate to stay one step ahead of his rapidly encroaching past.
At the Melrose family’s glorious house in the South of France, young Patrick has the run of the magical grounds. His father David rules with cruelty and his mother Eleanor has retreated into self medication and booze. Bravely imaginative and self-sufficient out of necessity, 9-year-old Patrick encounters the volatile lives of adults with fear. They are expecting guests for the weekend, but this afternoon is profoundly unlike other summer days, and the shocking events that precede the guests’ arrival tear Patrick's world in two.
Patrick reluctantly agrees to go to his first big social event since recovering. Together with his good friend Johnny Hall, he attends a glittering party in the English countryside hosted by former hippie Bridget – now married, titled and miserable – and attended by Princess Margaret as well as a number of Patrick's old flames. Amid a crowd of social dragonflies, Patrick searches for redemption and capacity for forgiveness, while confronting his past in a myriad of ways.
Patrick is spending the summer at his old family home in France with his wife Mary and their two young sons. When Eleanor, now sober, announces her plan to leave the house to a New Age foundation instead of Patrick, he quickly falls off the wagon. As Patrick returns to his old self-destructive behavior, the fate of his marriage is seriously threatened.
Patrick confronts the past on the day of his mother's memorial service. Now truly clean and sober, he attempts to solve the puzzle of his mother’s complicity in his father’s abuse, as well as answer his father’s question, ‘What will you do with your life?’