Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Silver Linings Play Book

Title: The Silver Linings Play Book

Author: Matthew Quick

Number of pages: 289

Started: 20 November 2012

Finished: 25 November 2012

Opening words:

I don’t have to look up to know Mom is making another surprise visit. Her toenails are always pink during the summer months, and I recognize the flower design imprinted on her leather sandals; it’s what Mom purchased the last time she signed me out of the bad place and took me to the mall.

Once again, Mother has found me in my bathrobe, exercising unattended in the courtyard, and I smile because I know she will yell at Dr. Timbers, asking him why I need to be locked up if I’m only going to be left alone all day.

“Just how many push-ups are you going to do, Pat?” Mom says when I start a second set of one hundred without speaking to her.

Plot summary:

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.

What I thought:

I liked the idea behind this book – someone who always believed that things would work out with the happy ending, like in a film.  Pat Peoples, the person in question, is resident in a mental health facility, his relationship having ended with his wife.  On the whole, the book worked well and I thought it gave an interesting perspective on mental health (not that the book is a heavy read or meant to be particularly educational).  As a book, it was a decent read.  I felt it could have done with something more to make it a better read, but it was very readable nonetheless.

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