The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick is the story of a man who is recovering from what appears to be a pretty severe mental breakdown. We don't get all the details spelled out to us until the end of the book, although the forshadowing gave me a pretty good idea of what had happened. Pat Peoples is trying his best to be kind, not right. To figure out how to relate once again to friends and family who are clearly not telling him everything about his situation and his slippery memories. And to figure out how to win back his wife. It's the story of two broken and dysfunctional people becoming friends -- and becoming better because of it. It's about the Philedelphia Eagles and that team's obsessed fans. It's about Pat's parents and their complicated and somewhat dysfunctional relationship. But, the title really sums it up best -- it's a story about finding the silver lining. About how life can beat the crap out of you, but it can also be really great too. I also appreciated that this book could have been cheesy but wasn't. There was some nice resolution, but not every story or relationship was fully resolved. For example, Pat's dad -- easily the most emotionally dysfunctional person in the book -- was still kind of a jerk at the end of the book. But the book was realistic in that it read like a snapshot of a person's life. Life doesn't play out in succinct little vignettes where every single loose end wraps up at one time.
Bottom line: read it if you like realistic fiction that recognizes the existence of silver linings. (no one said I wasn't cheesy!)