I remember during PLF 2015 when Matthew Quick talked about his debut novel, a book all about mental illness and why he wrote Silver Linings as a way to talk about depression, anxiety and mental illness. And for the first time I actually get and empathize with those who do suffer from mental illnesses. It’s terrible, confusing, and suffocating, not because you have an illness but because there doesn’t seem to be any clarity at all.
Silver Linings Playbook is one of the newest additions to my bookshelf, I know many people have read and watch the movie, I have only watched a few minutes of the film before I decided to call it quits, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence aren’t exactly interesting to watch. But reading the book, I am glad that I forsook the movie and just watched the film instead. The struggles that Pat Peoples goes through in each page, his own thoughts, are interesting and at the same time thought provoking. From the start it was never clear why Pat was sent to a mental institution or why his goal is to rekindle his relationship with his wife, Nikki. There are certainly a lot of questions as the book progresses and each page turn unravels a little bit of Pat’s own history and Tiffany’s own central role in the story.
I now understand why Matthew Quick wanted to write this story, more than being a message of optimism and finding the “silver lining”, it’s really all about putting forward the problems people with mental illnesses go through. The changes that happen to a family when someone is in a mental institution, beyond that, it is also a personal challenge for that person to really overcome the sudden outbursts of emotions and the constant bombardment of chemicals to control our emotions.
Silver Linings Playbook is an enjoyable read, I appreciated Matthew Quick’s intentions of really showing the world what life is like for those suffering from anxiety and depression. It certainly brought a whole new perspective to something that is rarely talked about.