I'm posting my review of The Silver Linings Play Book by Matthew Quick a day early, but Kelly and Morgan from The Truelife of KMK will be linking up tomorrow, so make sure you check out their reviews too. You can also pick your own questions to answer here.
"Meet Pat. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure a happy ending for him -- the return of his estranged wife Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent time in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat's now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he's being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he's being hunted by Kenny G!"
It was great to read something from a man's point-of-view (it would be a totally different book had it been written the easy way, aka from Tiffany's POV) and although I could see the 'twist' coming, it didn't leave me with the feeling of cliché. I cried at the end and I think it's down to the feeling of hope that the characters leave you with; their lives have been pretty bleak, yet, through it all, they've come out the other side, stronger and they've found one another; in my opinion, there's nothing more valuable in this world than finding a kindred spirit, someone who understands you totally!
You might have to bear with me as I answer these questions because I actually read this book last year :)
How does the book redefine happy endings? What makes Pat so determined to believe that every cloud has a silver lining?
I think a lot of people, including the filmmakers, saw Pat and Tiffany's relationship as a romantic relationship and so the film's ended was altered to fit what most people would consider to be a 'happy ending' for a Rom-Com. However, I was much happier with the book's ending, because I don't believe romance is what Tiffany and Pat needed from one another. I think they just needed a friend, someone to understand them. They have enough people in their lives trying to control them and their depression, but the friendship Pat and Tiffany offer one another is pretty rare; it's unconditional, it's understanding. I think the ending is exactly what both characters need.
I think Pat is a positive person who has experienced (and witnessed) so much negativity that he needs to find happy endings in everything, including the books he reads. He needs to believe that he can have a 'happy ending' after tragedy - who wouldn't?!
How did your impressions of Nikki and Tiffany shift throughout the novel?
I knew that it was Tiffany writing the letters before it was revealed but I understood why she was doing it, although I did feel sorry for Pat when he found out. I think I initially felt sorry for Nikki but after finding out what Pat did, all sympathy left me; I'm not saying she and her shag-piece (his name escapes me, right now) deserved what happened to them, but they must have known that they'd be discovered and that the outcome wouldn't be good.
I felt sorry for Tiffany; I can't imagine the pain she felt when her husband passed away and it made sense to me that she turned into a bit of a nymph afterwards; I'm not sure I would react the same way, but I'm not sure that I wouldn't react the same way, so I guess I kinda identified with Tiffany and the sadness she'd experienced. I was happy that Pat forgave her and that they were friends again by the end of the book.
Did Dance Away Depression have any healing effect on Pat? What did Tiffany want him to hear when she chose 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' as their song?
Totally! Dance Away Depression brought out the competitive side of Pat, a side which I believe all men have, and it gave him something to focus his energy on; it gave his life purpose. I think using 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' was Tiffany's way of letting Pat know he had a friend, that he could trust her.
Can't wait to read what everyone else thought of the book.
You can see the books on the Blogger 2 Blogger Book Club 2014 reading list here
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