The Silver Linings Playbook
Release Date: 25th October 2012 Originally 2008
Synopsis: An enchanting first novel about love, madness, and Kenny G.
The Silver Linings Playbook is the riotous and poignant story of how one man regains his memory and comes to terms with the magnitude of his wife’s betrayal.
During the years he spends in a neural health facility, Pat Peoples formulates a theory about silver linings: he believes his life is a movie produced by God, his mission is to become physically fit and emotionally supportive, and his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. When Pat goes to live with his parents, everything seems changed: no one will talk to him about Nikki; his old friends are saddled with families; the Philadelphia Eagles keep losing, making his father moody; and his new therapist seems to be recommending adultery as a form of therapy.
When Pat meets the tragically widowed and clinically depressed Tiffany, she offers to act as a liaison between him and his wife, if only he will give up watching football, agree to perform in this year’s Dance Away Depression competition, and promise not to tell anyone about their “contract.” All the while, Pat keeps searching for his silver lining.
In this brilliantly written debut novel, 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 story that helps us look at both depression and love in a wonderfully refreshing way.
Review: It was the movie that made me really interested in this book. I only saw the trailer and I knew I had to read the book and the novel didn't disappoint! As a mental health sufferer myself I'm really interested in reading about other peoples journeys and how they recovered, The Silver Linings Playbook tells the tale of Pat Peoples, who is slightly crazy and has just been released from the "bad place" e.g an institution. From the very start you realise that something isn't right in Pat's mind and you wonder what could have caused this to happen. It really makes you question yourself and your sanity? Also which one action would lead to you snapping and falling down the line of sanity into insanity and beyond. Another brilliant thing about this novel was we got to see how other people reacted to Pat's mental illness and this is an issue in the modern world. Mental health sufferers are being treated like they are stupid and should just snap out of it. That is not how it works and this book really shows how many different people will react.
The novel begins when Pat's mother comes to bring him out of the "Bad place." Pat leaves with his mother and sees the outside world for the first time in a long while. Pat keeps telling his mother that he can't wait to see Nikki, his wife again but she just ignores this. Pat doesn't remember the tragic events that lead to him snapping and being put into the bad place. He doesn't remember the assault he dealt that put him away, when people judged that he wasn't mentally stable. Things in the outside world have been going on without him, and his parents, particularly his mother tries to hide this from Pat. It isn't long until pat realises he was inside for Four years, not four months and everything has changed! Each day Pat does his exercises to keep in top shape for when apart time with Nikki is over. What Pat can't realise is that it will never be over. One of Pats old friends invites him over and it's here he meets, the equally unstable Tiffany. They start an alliance and make a deal that if Pat dances with Tiffany in the Dance Away Depression competition she will act as a liaison between him and his ex-wife. Pat agrees believing things are beginning to look up, but when you have two unstable people, that's not going to happen. Things begin to get more complicated while Pat is trying to stay as sane as possible.
I had so many feelings for Pat! I felt sorrow and grief for all that he'd been put through just because of his cheating wife. His whole life was shattered because of her actions and one little thing he did. The thing is he doesn't even remember what he did, he thought working out was going to get Nikki back but she was long gone. He was doing all this for a person who no longer cared. I also wanted to Hug Pat, lots! He was such a sweet gentleman who just happened to be suffering with a mental illness. So many times I wanted to hug him, when he was sad, angry etc, he just needed someone there for him. I also felt sad for him because all of his friends and family were pretending that the four years he was inside hadn't passed. They kept key things from him, like his brother had gotten married since he'd been inside but no one told him, he had to find out himself. How betrayed would you feel if your own family didn't trust you because of one of your actions in the past? Even worse an action, you can no longer remember. Oh and since he'd been inside, he now believes in god and that everything bad that happened to him was because he'd upset god. He thought there were silver linings to be found in the clouds and he had so much belief in them. I'm trying to show you how his complete personality had been changed and he was now damaged for the rest of his life. And how his family didn't help the matter, they actually make it worse. Pat's character was greatly written with so much detail that even now I am remembering how well fleshed out he was.
Tiffany was an interesting character and a force to be reckoned with. She's suffered with clinical depression since her husband died. She's very forward but that's how she's trying to cope, alas it isn't what she needs to do. With Pat's help she begins to slowly calm it while aiming to release all of her depression through dance. I really liked her character. It was really interesting seeing her confidence grow and her relationship with Pat is very intriguing and is definitely stretched to all proportions. I just wished their romance picked up earlier in the book.
The atmosphere the author creates in this book during the football games is also brilliant. It's done so well. I don't do sports so for me to be saying this must mean something was right! Oh I really did love this book and how well it shows mental illness and how it does change people. We will never be the same once we have suffered through it, Pat included. This book made me feel so much and i don't want to end the review but It's getting rather long so I will. You must read this book though, it's brilliantly written to give us the challenged perspective of someone suffering from a mental illness.