Laura DiStefano is a young woman trying to find her way in the world. The problem is that she makes so many mistakes that she can’t figure her life out anymore. She is traumatized after her boyfriend cheats on her, so she holes up in her college dorm, smoking dope and drinking, feeling sorry for herself. This causes her to lose her scholarship at the University of Massachusetts, so it’s back home she goes, to Springfield. Her pregnant sister, who I guess to be 16, tries to console Laura through dope-smoking sessions, but Laura is still lost and confused. Getting into a relationship with a guy who is a sex addict doesn’t help her, although she thinks it’s a good idea at the time. The only three smart things she does in this story is getting a job, turning down a marriage proposal from Mr. Sex Addict, who turns out to be possessive and not happy she’s so independent, and then finally, FINALLY getting out of her funk of dope, drinking and sex to get the hell out of Dodge to go find herself.
I understand this story is set in the 70s, during a time of “peace and love,” but it’s ridiculous how the main character clings to this culture while at the same time trying to fight it. It’s like she’s at war with herself. I also thought it was ironic that she was fine with cheating on her boyfriend after what she went through when a previous boyfriend cheated on her. I realize she was drunk and high at the time but she should have been somewhat aware of what was going on. Heck, she has the clarity to drive home on an interstate highway while still drunk and high, but I guess she didn’t care. The many flashbacks were also annoying. Laura’s problem is that she kept living in the past and finding it hard to move on in life. This whole “What Happened to Jane” cloud kept hanging over her head for a majority of the story.
People make mistakes all the time. That’s how we learn anything in life. But unfortunately it’s like the character hasn’t learned very much from her mistakes at the end of the story, which turned out to be a huge disappointment. Somebody should have told her it’s better to think with your brain instead of your heart, because the heart will only blind you.
Laura DiStefano is torn between dreams of a new counter-cultural life and the undertow of a dysfunctional family.
Laura DiStefano has flunked out of the University of Massachusetts just as the counterculture reaches its peak in the 1970s.
Reluctantly, Laura returns to live back home with her parents and sister in the blue collar town she so hoped to escape. But she soon learns that her sister, a fierce survivor of a childhood attack who has rather foolishly gotten pregnant, needs Laura’s help when she unexpectedly falls for a local guy.
Even though the school offers to reinstate Laura’s scholarship, leaving home again suddenly gets harder. As the conflicts in her threaten to drag her under, Laura becomes agoraphobic. How can she reconcile her divided loyalties and find her genuine life?