“Life is random fucked-up and arbitrary, until you find someone who can make sense of it all for you – if only temporarily.”
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick follows Pat who by societies standers is a little crazy. He’s been in what he calls “the bad place” for years. He’s violent, he has forgotten parts of his life and he hates Kenny G more than anything else but he’s hopeful. More than anything he believes in silver linings and that if he keeps trying to be the best person he can be he’ll find his very own silver lining. Enter Tiffany, a girl who’s had her own ups and downs. She’s a compulsive liar and, like Pat, she suffers from a sickness that’s hard for her to control. In an odd friendship they find a common ground that sparks a very unique friendship.
This is one of my favourite books that I have currently ever read. The book is heartbreaking and so truthfully honest but it’s also really funny which is nice since it deal with such a serious subject – mental illness. However, the comedy written in the book doesn’t overshadow the realness of what’s happening with Pat and that’s what I really like. It’s not something that’s been watered down to tell half a story it’s the real thing. The book reminds me a lot of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the narration is similar. They both deal with the same issues and the main one would be mental health. Although in both cases the stories are very different.
I could spend the rest of this post talking about the characters written in this book. I’m particularly fond of a few of the characters Matthew created. Both Pat and Tiffany are of course at the front of my mind when I think about this because they’re the main characters. I really like how upfront Tiffany is, she speaks her mind and isn’t afraid to say what she’s thinking. The problems she’s had to face, especially her back story, really hit me. It was one of those moments where I wanted to reach into the book and hug her just to let her know everything would be okay. Of course there were also several times I wanted to do this for Pat. I loved Danny, he brought a sense of humour to the book which is always nice.
I think it’s really important we mention Pat’s mother in all of this. Every character in this book is well written and it’s easy to tell that they all have their own unique personality and voice. With Pat’s mother this is more noticeable. You can really tell how much unconditional love she has for her son. Everything she does is with Pat in mind because when you have a child who is ill or not quite themselves as a mother you can’t just do nothing, I know this from times I’ve been sick and my mum has fussed over me. She might not fully understand the things her son is going through but she will do anything she can to help him even if that means getting him a gym in the basement and books from the library. The relationship she has with her son and the love for him is something that’s clearly shown throughout the book which is really lovely to see.
I love that book highlights how things don’t always happen they way we expect them to or that we don’t get the life we planned we would get. In fact it’s sometimes better if we just leave everything to work itself out. There are so many happy endings we could all end up with so it seems a little crazy to just focus on one when we could have another.
Would I recommend this book? Yes and it’s something I’ve tried to get all my friends to read. I saw the film first and then picked up the book but both left me with a strong message that’s really stayed with me. If you’ve read the book let me know what you thought in the comments below.