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!
This book is like the adult version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I’m not the first person to say it, but it’s true. Pat’s voice is really similar to Charlie’s except Pat’s main focus is reconciling with his wife. I really enjoyed this book and I wasn’t expecting to. Usually when movies have so much hype, I’m hesitant to read the book, but this book was surprising for me. Pat’s philosophy of seeking silver linings in the world was refreshing. A protagonist with a positive outlook in life is quite a novel idea.
What really drew me into this book were the relationships Pat had with his parents, his friends, his brother, and with Tiffany. I also appreciated how the book didn’t shy away from depicting a man with mental health issues. Pat’s relationship with Cliff, his therapist was surprising for me (aren’t therapists supposed to keep a professional distance from their patients?) but I still really liked it.
The whole book feels like an accurate portrayal of a man with mental health problems who is reintegrating back into his life and trying to maintain his relationships. It’s hopeful and heartbreaking and honest. I liked how flawed the characters were and how original they were too.
And just as an FYI, the movie may be different, but it’s still incredible. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence bring the characters to life (especially Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany. Jesus, she is fearless!)
So I recommend reading the book, then watching the movie. You’re bound to enjoy both.
- The Silver Linings Playbook – Matthew Quick (whateverasmaasays.wordpress.com)