The Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick

Contemporary Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Meet Pat. 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 a happy ending for him — the return of his estranged wife Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent time 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 hunted by Kenny G!

The Silver Linings Playbook is the cutest, most beautiful, heartwarming novel I have ever read; I have fallen madly in love with The Silver Linings Playbook and its unique story and dysfunctional characters and I hope you do too. I adore romance as a genre and enjoy a romance read from time to time but rarely do I read romantic comedies as a great one is hard to discover. That is why I am shocked that The Silver Linings Playbook disproved my belief that all romantic comedies are cheesy and lackluster and I am even more surprised with myself that The Silver Linings Playbook is now one of my favorite reads of all time! If you are a reader who adores lovely books, then please read this book and fall entirely in love. In case you do not know the story of The Silver Linings Playbook here is a brief synopsis of mine!

The Silver Linings Playbook is narrated by the eccentric protagonist of the novel, Pat Peoples; a former history teacher who has moved back to his childhood home in Collingswood, New Jersey after spending time in a Baltimore psychiatric hospital. Pat is mentally ill and suffers from bipolar disorder; he only thinks that he has been in the hospital a few months, but he soon realizes that he has spent years in the hospital and so he struggles to piece together his lost memories and what has become of his ‘wife’ Nikki. Pat has a unique theory, that life is a film created by God and that its ‘Silver Lining’ will be the end of ‘apart time’ from Nikki. Pat soon becomes determined and embarks on a plan of self-improvement to win his lost love, Nikki back. However, his plans to win Nikki back will soon be tested when he has dinner at his friends Ronnie and Veronica’s house as he is introduced to the lively Tiffany Webster. Tiffany is a woman who also has mental health issues; she suffers from depression after the death of her husband, so she has now moved back to New Jersey. Will Tiffany be able to help get Pat’s life back on track or will she be his downfall? Skip the next two paragraphs if you do not want the novel to be spoiled in case you have not read The Silver Linings Playbook!

SPOILER – Pat and Tiffany soon hit it off after much convincing from Tiffany who essentially stalked Pat until he agreed to go on a date with her finally! Tiffany is a dancer, and she needs a partner for a competition that she so desperately wants to win so she enlists Pat to help her and thus he becomes her dance partner. I am going to fast forward to after the contest as these chapters are wonderful. Tiffany agrees to be a go (line of communication) between Nikki and Pat and so she gives Pat a letter, supposedly written by Nikki but in fact it was written by Tiffany. Pat is enthusiastic as he believes this is what God wants and his life is back on track so he suggests a meeting with Nikki at the place they got engaged, and despite no reply, he slips away from his family on Christmas Day to meet her. Nikki is of course not there, but Tiffany is and this is when she admits she has forged Nikki’s letters all along and that she had been trying to help Pat move on and gain closure with his marriage because Tiffany, is madly in love with Pat. Pat is furious that the last two months of correspondence have been a lie and in shock, Pat runs into an unfamiliar neighborhood and is assaulted. By chance, he encounters his friend Danny from the Baltimore mental health facility and Danny helps Pat get to the hospital and reunite him with his family. Whilst in hospital Pat still does not recall how or why he was separated from his wife and only when he watches his wedding video – which his mother had hidden – do the memories eventually return with the realization that he and Nikki will never be together again.

SPOILER – After several weeks Pat recovers from his injuries and after receiving a letter from Tiffany he finally agrees to meet her. Pat explains that he asked his brother Jack to drive him to see Nikki and observed her from afar and after seeing her he finally realized that she has a new family and is happy and thus accepts it as the ending of the movie of his life. Tiffany then gives Pat a belated birthday present: a cloud chart, and they lie on the ground and watch the clouds together. Pat pulls Tiffany close and she tells him that she needs him. As they lie there on the frozen soccer field in the middle of a snowstorm, Pat then kisses her and says “I think I need you too”.

SPOILER FREE – Sorry for my very long synopsis but this is one of my favorite novels so I couldn’t help myself! This novel is of course about a guy whose life has been shattered and he doesn’t even realize it so naturally, you would think Pat’s story would be incredibly sad but it is not! This book is the opposite of sad, I mean, of course, there are some sad moments but instead, this novel is very uplifting and riveting. The bittersweet humor that Matthew Quick has laced throughout this book makes it a pleasure to read without being depressing and I finished it in just one sitting, which tells you what an incredible piece of work it is!

Our protagonist Pat is extremely likable and you can’t help but love him and his optimism. I myself am very optimistic so I adored how optimistic he was. Some readers I have heard found his optimism irritating but I personally adored it. Pat’s devotion to his cause of being reunited with his ex-wife Nikki is commendable and you really have to admire his sheer amount of devotion. Although personally I hate Nikki and I think everybody who reads this novel will. She has done a terrible thing and betrayed him and because of this, it sent him into a mental breakdown so she frankly is a real b**ch (sorry about my French!).

Now, Pat and Tiffany are beautiful and beyond magical together. As soon as they met each other in this novel and Pat was seriously weary of her, I was rooting for them because I knew in my heart they would be perfect and that they were destined to be together. They have both been through a hard time and experienced horrible things so they truly deserve happiness.  This may be a slight spoiler but to be honest, everybody knows this about them so I am just going to go ahead and say it! Their love is beautiful and so perfect. As I said in the beginning of my review I tend to stay away from romantic novels as I find them repetitive and lackluster however once in a blue moon a romance novel surprises me and this is certainly the case with this enchanting novel. The Silver Linings Playbook is not cheesy or unoriginal but rather unique, special and beautiful. The writing combined with incredible real-life characters made me fall head over heels and I just adore this novel so much!

I have to quickly say also that the fact that this book is based in New Jersey made me a very happy woman. I may be British but I married an American and I used to live in New Jersey so of course, I adored this aspect massively! Plus, I and my husband are HUGE Eagle fans – GO EAGLES!! – we are proud Philly supporters so the fact that in this book Matthew Quick talked about Eagles winnings and the whole experience of going to an Eagle game made me so happy and yes, maybe this has influenced my review verdict with one more star which is funny because I saw a review in which they deducted a star because they hate the Eagles! Booo, Eagles rule.

To summarise my thoughts on this book I would say it is a beautifully written, crafted novel not with one fault. It is an extremely fun and enjoyable read with short chapters which make it an easy fast-paced read all whilst being continuously entertaining the whole way through. Let’s not forget also that it is extremely funny and had me laughing so much; it genuinely made me smile and is such an unforgettable, amusing read. Of course, I have to give this novel Five Stars and I pray you lovely readers read it!

Thank you so much as ever for reading book lovers! I really appreciate it so much. Please do comment below and let me know all those wonderful thoughts of yours! Do you love Romantic Comedies or tend to steer clear from them? Let me know whether you have read the book or if not whether you could see yourself reading it and also let me know whether you have seen the movie and what you thought about it! Thank you so much again for reading!

P.S. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! Please have a read of the preview and if you find that you have loved what you have read then all you need to do is click the Buy on Amazon button and it will take you straight to the book on Amazon USA! If you are in the U.K. then below I have attached a link to the book for the Amazon U.K. website. I have also attached some links about the author and this wonderful book! Thank you so much again for reading book lovers, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this book!   

Amazon U.K. / Goodreads / Book Depository / Publisher; Macmillian 

Thank you so much again for reading! 

Mini Movie Review

As always I love to talk about the movie version of the book and this movie was impeccable! They captured the heart and soul of the novel wonderfully and I could not have chosen better actors to play Pat and Tiffany. Their chemistry was wonderful and I was in awe of their talent. When Jennifer Lawrence won the best actress for this movie at the Oscars I was ecstatic! The movie overall is a lovely, uplifting film that will make you at the end of the movie have a massive smile on your face. Let me know below your thoughts on the movie! Thanks again for reading!

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