Today’s guest book reviewer is Doreen McGettigan, a published author herself (more info on Doreen at the end of this review). When she told me that she wanted to review The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel by Matthew Quick, I had about a thousand reasons to say yes. Here’s four:
- I love the fact that the author, Matthew Quick, was an English teacher who pursued his dream and decided to write a book. What a great “life lesson” he gave to his students.
- Matthew is a local guy. He was a teacher at Haddonfield High School. In all the press interviews he has given about the book and about the movie, I really related to the notion of a high school English teacher taking a shot at a “second act” in their career. Funny…the same thing happened to me.
- The star of the film, Bradley Cooper, is proud of his Philly roots. He grew up here and always puts the Philadelphia area on the map in both his interviews and his numerous return visits. The movie is a true film valentine to the Philadelphia region.
- Roe loves Bradley Cooper (gee, I wonder why).
And here’s Doreen’s review of The Silver Linings Playbook:
Matt Quick grew up, lived in Collingwood, New Jersey, and taught English at Haddonfield Memorial High School until he decided to pursue his dream of writing a novel. He moved in with his in-laws in New England, turned their basement into an office where he wrote three subpar novels before finally after three years emerged with The Silver Linings Playbook.
Right from the opening pages of this book, I felt the narrator although fictitious was quite believable. Pat Peoples is a loveable, simple man that wants nothing more than to get back together with his wife and have “apart- time” end.
The author invented a cast of characters that we can all relate to because we all know someone like them. The mother is an enabler that coddles, but knows what is best and just wants her son to be healthy and happy and for the family to get along. The father is an angry, abusive man that wants his family to support him in his obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles. The supporting characters are also recognizable and realistic as well.
They say to write what you love, and Matt Quick must love football and the Eagles because there are a lot of both in this book. As a football fan, I got it and did not find it distracting. I read somewhere that the author would drive 10 hours round trip to attend every Eagles home game.
Pat gets out of the mental hospital and continues to work out and to read literary novels in order to become the man his estranged wife Nikki wants. I knew something tragic had to have happened between the two of them, but it is not revealed until the end of the book. In the meantime, the crazy sister-in-law of a friend starts to stalk Pat while he is on his runs but she never speaks to him.
What I loved most about this book is the opportunity it presents to start conversations centering on mental health and the way we dance around the subject without making any forward progress. This novel sheds some light on the dilemma so many families face every single day.
I rarely (more like never) cry or laugh out loud while reading anything. I did both while reading this book. While not technically a literary masterpiece, this book has sadness, heartbreak, humor and silver linings. It was truly entertaining, which to me is a masterpiece.
I highly recommend this book and believe men and women alike will find it thoroughly entertaining.
Update: I went to see the movie based on this book and loved the movie as well. David O’Russell’s first book to movie adaption I felt is Oscar-worthy. He takes the liberty to change certain aspects of the story but I have to say I agreed with his changes.
It is always nice when the audience cheers at the end of a movie but it was just as nice to hear everyone cheering at local landmarks in the movie such as the Llanarch Diner, Prendi High School and of course the Linc.
As I mentioned, Doreen McGettigan is the author of Bristol Boyz Stomp. Her publishing journey came out of a tragedy when her brother was murdered in Bristol, Pennsylvania, the victim of a brutal and unprovoked attack. Doreen’s book recounts the devastating impact of this tragedy. You can learn more about Doreen at her website at www.doreenmcgettigan.com. Her book, Bristol Boyz Stomp, is available on Amazon.
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