The Silver Linings Playbook has an intriguing plot in which the story is revealed little by little to the reader. It starts out with Pat Peoples, who has just been released from hospital, but doesn't have all his memories. He thinks he's only been in the hospital a short while but, in fact, he's been there for four years and, we later discover, he was put there because he nearly beat a man to death after finding him in a compromising position with his wife.
As Pat is released from hospital, he determines to become the kind of man his wife Nikki would want to be with. He starts a rigorous physical and mental regimen, jogging everyday and reading great works of literature. He also begins a friendship with Tiffany, a widow who has just lost her job. Tiffany invites him to open up and try new things, coercing him into taking part in a dance competition with her, in exchange for taking his letters to his wife.
However, we later discover that Tiffany doesn't actually take the letters to Nikki but responds to them herself. When Pat discovers what she's done, he's angry and shocked, but he soon realizes that Nikki is happy with her new life and family and determines to leave her alone. Meanwhile, our two neurotic protagonists are given a chance to come together despite their mental problems or, perhaps, because of them.
This is a moving and well-plotted book where the reader gets just enough information to keep him/her going. You don't know Pat's past right away and the process of discovering who he really is takes you into the mind of someone who has deliberately pushed away his memories. Tiffany's manipulative nature is also, at heart, well-intentioned, and serves to endear her to the reader. Quick shows us how you don't have to be successful in the eyes of the world in order to find solace in the company of another human being.
The Silver Linings Playbook was made into an acclaimed movie entitled "Silver Linings Playbook" appropriately enough. The film received eight Academy Award nominations and garnered an Best Actress Oscar for Jennifer Lawrence.
Matthew Quick grew up in Oaklyn, NJ, got a Bachelor's in English Literature from La Salle University and an MFA from Goddard College. At first, he worked as an English teacher, giving impassioned speeches about living the life of your dreams. Eventually, he realized that he was not living the life he dreamed about and left his job. After a great deal of traveling and soul-searching, he disappeared into his in-laws' basement and reemerged three years later with the manuscript of The Silver Linings Playbook which was published and made into an award-winning movie of the same name. He has also written a young adult novel called Boy 21.
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, an enchanting first novel about love, madness, and Kenny G.
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. The problem is that Pat is now home, living with his parents, and everything seems off; 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, physically fit, and clinically depressed Tiffany, she offers to act as a liaison between him and his wife, but only if 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. Download and start listening now!