The Silver Linings Playbook is a novel by Matthew Quick, which centres on the protagonist Pat Peoples. Despite a restraining order and a four year stint in a mental institution, nothing comes between him and his journey to be reunited with his wife, Nikki. At first, this enchanting novel appears to be predominantly of love, but becomes overshadowed by a journey of hope and recovery. Almost immediately, we are entranced by Pat’s sheer love for life.
All the odds are stacked against him getting better, then just like that, Tiffany walks into his life. She is an odd, but intriguing woman who also suffers from a mental illness. The novel documents their growing relationship, as they become stronger as individuals, learning to trust again.
The Silver Linings Playbook could be described as a case study for mental health experiences as Mathew Quick invites the reader to look at the world from Pat’s distorted perspective. This is further exemplified by the first person narration, which allows Pat to record his thought processes.
Tiffany agrees to pass a letter on to Nikki, on behalf of Pat, if he compromises and competes in a dance competition as her partner. She grows close to Pat, as he is the only person in her life who can truly understand her. After the dance recital is over, Pat learns that Tiffany was never going pass on his letter, but simply forge replies herself, as a means for helping him move on. It also becomes apparent that Tiffany is in love with Pat. This part of the novel is truly heart-breaking as Quick accounts Pat’s realisation that he will never be reunited with Nikki.