Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Review: Silver Linings Playbook

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!

Title: Silver Linings Playbook
Author: Matthew Quick | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: October 16 2012 (Movie Tie-in)
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
ISBN: 0374533571
Length: 289 Pages
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Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: I am not usually a fan of Movie Tie-in covers but how can I not put this edition on my blog? It has Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence on it. There was no way I could go with the old cover...
Point of View: 1st person, following Pat

My Rating: 4 Stars

I would like to issue you with a challenge.  I challenge you to read this book and to not have the biggest grin on your face at the end of it.  This is the type of book that when you get to the end you just want let out an audible sigh and smile to yourself.  It truly is a feel good book.

“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.”

As there has been a movie released I should mention that I did in fact read the book before I saw the film.  As this is a review of the book I will attempt to stay on point but just wanted to mention that the film was also very good.  However it should be said that they are completely different.   I was actually a bit shocked to see how much they had changed between the book and the film... as in how were they even allowed to keep the same title?  But in the end both are good in the their own ways, I would say the book just slightly wins out in my opinion as is normally the case when it comes to the book vs. the film.

“I don't want to stay in the bad place, where no one believes in silver linings or love or happy endings.”

The story follows Pat who we first meet up with as he is being released from a mental institution (the bad place).  He has suffered a mental break and his mother has come to get him released and take him back to his childhood home with her and his father.  The events that occurred prior to him being institutionalized are slowly integrated into the story.  Since Pat can also not remember you are learning the details at the same time as he is and this allows you to experience the emotions right along with him.

“When I run, I always pretend I am running toward Nikki, and it makes me feel like I am decreasing the amount of time I have to wait until I see her again.”

Pat has one goal in life now.  To reconnect with his wife Nikki.  He starts to read the classic books she has always enjoyed, he loses weight and is obsessed with exercising to keep himself fit.  He is working hard on being kind, not right.  All is going well in his mind until a friend invites him to dinner... this is where he meets Tiffany.

“She looks sad. She looks angry. She looks different from everyone else I know—she cannot put on that happy face others wear when they know they are being watched. She doesn’t put on a face for me, which makes me trust her somehow.”

I adored Tiffany.  She has had her own struggles and is still fighting to get beyond her past and the devastation in her life.  She is so very closed off.  There are many scenes that she is a part of where she does not speak a single word to Pat however there is so much taken away from their interactions.  Everybody is cautious around Pat, afraid of what to say as it may trigger an episode or free up a memory he has suppressed.  He can be himself around her.  He talks and talks and she simply listens.

This is not to say she is always quiet.  Not a chance.  When she has something to say she does not hold back and I just loved that about her.  She is a woman of few words but the words she does say mean something.

“Looking into another person's eyes for an extended period of time proved to be a powerful thing. And if you don't believe me, try it yourself.”

Their relationship was really a joy to see unfold.  Nobody could have pushed these two together.  They needed to learn to overcome their pasts as a way to move forward together.  It really is lovely.

I strongly suggest that you read this book.  It will help remind you that everybody has hard times in life but the silver linings are there... you just need to remember to look out for them.

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

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