The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 289
Source: Library

The Short Version:
After coming home from a stint at the neural health facility Pat Peoples is determined do what it takes to find the happy ending to the movie of his life.

Why I Read It:
After the Academy Awards were announced I discovered that the movie was based on a book so I had to read the book first. I know they differ but I still had to.

The Book:
From the publisher:

Meet Pat Peoples. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure him a happy ending—the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat’s now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he’s being haunted by Kenny G!

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this book a lot. It’s a unique mix that is fun, light and humorous at times but alongside that are elements that are dark and depressing.

You know right away that Pat has been in a mental health facility and while he’s ridiculously optimistic and funny and endearing he’s clearly an unreliable narrator. He has holes in his memory. It’s clear that his family is being cautious with the level of truth they’re sharing with Pat. His mom and his brother are both trying to help, but his dad is just avoiding the entire situation.

His friend’s sister-in-law who is following Pat on his daily runs is clearly messed up in her own way. The shared love of the Philadelphia Eagles football team is what Pat hopes will bring his world back to the way things should be. If the Eagles win, his dad will talk to him and it’ll be part of his movie’s happy ending.

As Pat settles in and tries to make himself into the man he believes Nikki wants, he begins to piece together the reality the rest of the world takes for granted.

In my mind, this happened last year, maybe eleven months ago. But I know if I bring up this incident now as we are grilling in front of the Linc, I will be told that the memory occurred more than three or even four years ago, so I do not bring it up, even though I want to, because I know Jake’s and Scott’s responses will help be figure out what the rest of the world believes about time. And also, not knowing what the rest of the world believes happened between then and now is terrifying. It’s better not to think too much about this.

I liked Pat. He’s a mess, but he’s trying to ‘be kind rather than right’ as he learned in therapy. What really happened to both Pat and Tiffany is not revealed until near the end of the book. The journey that both of these damaged people take is one that will warm your heart, make you sad and even angry at times but along the way it will also make you smile.

I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. I know it differs from the book but I’ve heard it’s good.

4 stars Rating 4/5