The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (2008)

It makes me really sad to see that Tiffany is still wearing her wedding ring.
And then suddenly Tiffany is hugging me so that her face is between my pecs, and she’s suddenly crying her makeup onto my new Hank Baskett jersey. I don’t like being touched by anyone except Nikki, and I really do not want Tiffany to get makeup on the jersey my brother was nice enough to give me–a jersey with real stitched-on letters and numbers–but I surprise myself by hugging Tiffany back. I rest my chin on top of her shiny black hair, scent her perfume, and suddenly I’m crying too, which scares me a lot. Out bodies shudder together, and we are all waterworks. We cry together for at least ten minutes, and then she lets go and runs around the back of her parents’ house (p 51).

I picked this up after seeing the movie trailer (starring Bradley Cooper, Julie Stiles and Jennifer Lawrence) and I’m glad I did. After spending years in a mental institution (referred to as ‘the bad place’), Pat Peoples, a former history teacher, continues to manage his mental illness while living with his parents. His mother provides care while his father’s moods are dictated by the Eagles. Desperate to end ‘apart time’ and struggling with memory loss, Pat’s sole motivation is his desire to be reunited with his wife, Nikki. Enter Tiffany, a young woman struggling with depression in the aftermath of her husband’s death. They may be exactly what the other needs.

It surprised me just how much I enjoyed this book. The subject mater is heavy and I felt strongly for Pat and, to a lesser degree, Tiffany. Now I have to wait until November for the movie. Arg!

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