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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Romance / Historical
  • Language:English
  • Pages:500
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781667853291

Blinded by the Smoke

by Linda Stefko

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Overview
Blinded by the Smoke by Linda Stefko is a cautionary tale spotlighting the turmoil of the late 1960's and its effect on middle-class American youth. The story of Sharon Quinn, her friends, and family, focuses on love, commitment, and friendship. The novel offers strong messages concerning alcoholism, college fraternity hazing, and the Vietnam War. In 1969, Sharon is a sophomore at a small fictional college in western Pennsylvania. After her boyfriend, Jerry, leaves for a tour of duty in Vietnam, she searches for the true meaning of commitment. Her devotion is challenged by the charms of a campus romeo, who adds chaos and adventure into her life. Sharon and her friends test boundaries when exposed to the campus party culture common at the time. Some suffer for it. Their lives are intertwined with the popular culture and music of the time, which raises questions. Was an entire generation led by the pied pipers of rock n roll? Did they find meaning in their religion of music and a philosophy of life in the Top 40?
Description
Blinded by the Smoke by Linda Stefko is a coming of age story as well as a cautionary tale, and a fictional foray into the lives of middle-class daughters and sons of the late 1960's in western Pennsylvania. It offers strong messages concerning alcoholism, college fraternity hazing, and the Vietnam War. The struggles of Sharon Quinn and her friends mirror a nation caught up in an unpopular war and changing beliefs. Youthful rebellion and new expressions of these beliefs are reflected in their music and culture, led by the pied pipers of rock n roll who brand an entire generation with life's new Top 40 philosophies. After Sharon's boyfriend, Jerry, leaves for Vietnam to serve in the army, she searches for the true meaning of love, belonging, and commitment. Her devotion to Jerry is challenged by a campus charmer named Jim, who adds adventure and chaos into her life. She and her college friends test boundaries and explore freedoms when exposed to the campus party culture common at the time. Some suffer for it. Subplots woven into the college setting involve depression, alcoholism, rape, fraternity hazing, and the meaning of friendship. When at home in Pittsburgh, Sharon is anchored by strong family ties and we glimpse her relationships with her parents, grandmother, and sister. She also develops a bond with an older businesswoman who is wrestling with a long buried secret. While seeking clear visions of their futures, the characters in Blinded by the Smoke experience joys as well as heart-wrenching sorrows. Fifty years later, today's college students face many of the same questions that troubled the youth of the 1960's: Where do I belong? Who can I trust? Should I turn a blind eye to the nefarious behavior of peers and when does it become a matter of conscience? One can be blinded by the sun, by darkness, by smoke, by lies. To see clearly is a matter of perception. Eyes can be tricked and blinded to the truth just as easily as lies deceive the ears. One may look but not see, and hear but not understand. Open the eyes to the heart and protect it, therein lies the truth.
About the author
Linda Stefko, a retired elementary school teacher, spends time reading, writing, painting, and exploring a lifelong interest in family genealogy and the history of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she grew up in the suburb of Crafton. For the past thirty years, she has resided in the Canonsburg area of southwestern Pennsylvania, where she raised her three children. She enjoys spending time with them and her seven precious grandchildren, as well as extended family and friends. After the death of her husband, she focused on publishing her first novel, a work of historical fiction set in Pittsburgh, Secrets in the Smoke. Linda has again woven a storyteller's mix of fact and fiction into Blinded by the Smoke.
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