3.5 out of 5
★ ★ ★/★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The Silver Linings Playbook follows Pat Peoples during the years he spends in a neural health facility,where he 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.
*Disclaimer* I painstakingly avoided watching the movie before reading the novel, because sometimes it can really mess up how you feel about the novel after seeing the movie. This is especially true for movies that are often told in first person POV, look at Jumper and Beautiful Creatures, so this is a review from a completely unbiased reader.
The Silver Linings Playbook was a pleasantly, surprising story about a man, Pat Peoples, with a mental illness that sets his sights on a movie themed happy ending. After his release from a mental institution, aka “the bad place”, he has one main goal to end, to end “apart time” from his wife, Nikki. During this journey he changes everything about himself. He gets ripped, tries to be nice, instead of right, reads classical American literature (which I would suggest you read first before picking up this novel, I don’t know if I can read The Bell Jar now), and all to show his wife that he’s changed. However life isn’t what it was before entering the “bad place” everything is different. The Vet is gone, players no longer play for the beloved Eagles, his father isn’t speaking to him, his brother is married, and a girl named Tiffany won’t leave him alone.
We follow Pat through his road to recovery and experience the journey right along with him. It’s not something I would consider a literary classic, but it’s refreshing and different, filled with wonderful characters – If not a bit over exaggerated – that love Pat. The Philly aspect is also very cool, although Pat’s and Ginos is not where to go to get quality cheesesteak, Muffin’s or Larry’s serve great one but that also is north Philly not south so….
Anyway, Pat is an awesome guy and he goes through a tremendously vexing ordeal that just makes you care about so much. It’s almost like he’s a child and you just want him to be okay, however the progression of his character – actually all the characters- was better in the movie and the same goes for the ending.
Overall, this was a great story with quality characters and a good plot. But just to clarify this really isn’t a romance, IMO, it’s more of a journey toward love. The romance view isn’t really strong, but kind of on the back-burner.