Books

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick | Book Review

Synopsis

Meet Pat Peoples. Pat Peoples has a theory that his life is actually a movie produced by God, and that his God-given mission in life is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure a happy ending – which, for Pat, means the return of his estranged wife Nikki. (It might not come as any surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental health facility.)

The problem is, Pat’s home now, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; his old friends are saddled with families; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, Kenny G keeps haunting him!

The Silver Linings Playbook is the riotous and poignant story of how one man regains his memory and comes to terms with his wife’s betrayal. Matthew Quick takes us inside Pat’s mind, deftly showing us the world from his distorted yet endearing perspective. The result is a touching and funny novel that helps us look at both depression and love in a wonderfully refreshing way.

Review

Another movie tie-in book. I admit that I read this book only because I got curious about it when Jennifer Lawrence earned an award by portraying the role of Tiffany in the movie. If this earned her an award, then that says something about the book too, right?

The book centers on the life of Pat Peoples. And obviously, the story is his point of view. It details how a once successful and workaholic history teacher ended up in a mental institution without any recollection of what happened in the last four years.

The book was full of emotions. It’s not as tear-jerking as The Fault in Our Stars or as romantic as The Notebook but it evokes contradicting emotions for the readers. There are some parts where I feel like crying and I feel more and more sympathy towards Pat. It makes me want to reach out and help him, tap him on the shoulder and tell him that he’s doing ok. His mental condition wasn’t really clearly stated in the book but from what I gathered, he has a trouble controlling his emotions. He was so used to it, he didn’t see it as a mental condition. His emotions were contradicting and from how the book described him, I can tell that he wasn’t a good husband to his wife before.

Pat Peoples believe in silver linings. He’s very optimistic. He believes in happy endings. When he was discharged from the hospital, he was so eager to lose more weight and be as kinder as possible so he could get back his wife. He spent four years in the hospital but due to the incident that had put him in the bad place as he calls it, he had a selective amnesia, probably because he locked up those memories unconsciously. I’m extremely proud of him when he finally dealt and accepted his wife’s betrayal. He forgave her which is the best gifts he gave himself because he finally found a new light and his own silver lining.

Tiffany. She’s a mysterious woman who also has a fair share of her own problems. She’s emotionally unstable like Pat. She’s a professional dancer. Unlike Pat, she has her own way of dealing on her problem. As a way of coping up from the guilt she felt when her husband died, she began to sleep with her office mates which led to her being terminated from her job. She began to hope that she’ll find love again when she met Pat.

I had a hard time dealing with Pat’s father. I can’t help but be annoyed with him. Though I figured out that his father has some issues too. I’m guessing he has the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome. I kind of feel sorry that Pat also had to deal with his father’s behavior aside from his own problems.

Philadephia Eagles also had a lot to with this book. It was their bonding time and made Pat closer to his family again making him feel at home.

I also liked the fact that the author included a talk about classical books. I learned a lot and I’m planning to read the books mentioned in this story.

I love the dance exhibition in this book. As a dancer, I absolutely love the choreography of their dance. I can’t help but close my eyes and imagine the way they moved as they performed it.

This book not only deals with love but also with family issues, faith, believing in love again, giving us sense of hope and the gift of healing. If you have loved the movie, I assure you that this book is way better.

Quotable Quotes

All it really takes for different people to get along is a common rooting interest and a few beers.

Life is not a PG feel-good movie. Real life often ends badly. Literature tries to document this reality, while showing us it is still possible for us to endure nobly.

Life is hard, and children have to be told how hard life can be…So they will be sympathetic to others. So they will understand that some people have it harder than they do and that a trip through this world can be a wildly different experience, depending on what chemicals are raging through one’s mind.

Let me tell ya. You gotta pay attention to signs. When life reaches out with a moment like this it’s a sin if you don’t reach back… I’m telling you.

Life is random and fucked-up and arbitrary, until you find someone who can make sense of it all for you— if only temporarily.

You need to know it’s your actions that will make you a good person, not desire.

Most people lose the ability to see silver linings even though they are always there above us almost every day.

Rating: 5/5

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