The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick


There were bits about this book that didn't sit quite right with me, but there was much that I loved too: 

For the first few pages, I thought Pat was an adolescent. It came as a shock to realise that he was a grown man in his 30s. His obsession with his beloved Nikki and his self-absorbed belief that by improving his body & mind he would get her back made his "voice" that of someone much younger.

There's a moment of insight from Pat, quite early on in the book, that reeled me in and had me caring about what happened to him. His friend was warning him off forming any kind of friendship with his sister-in-law because she is "a little odd":

' Ronnie tells me what he believes is the story of how Tiffany lost her job ... He tells me what co-workers wrote in their reports, he tells me what her boss told her parents and what the therapist has since said ... but he never once tells me what Tiffany thinks or what is going on in her heart: the awful feelings, the conflicting impulses, the needs, the desperation, everything that makes her different from Ronnie and Veronica, who have each other and their daughter, Emily, and a good income and a house and everything else that keeps people from calling them "odd." ' 

What I most liked about this book was the fact that there was no sudden recovery from mental illness, no shying away from grief and pain and the ugliness of casual hate, but always a sliver of hope and openness to the chance of happiness. 

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