ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Silver Linings Playbook

Updated on October 8, 2013

"Life is hard, and children have to be told how hard life can be…So they will be sympathetic to others. So they will understand that some people have it harder than they do and that a trip through this world can be a wildly different experience, depending on what chemicals are raging through one’s mind."


Author Mattew Quick's Silver Linings Playbook begins with protagonist, Pat Solitano, returning to his home in New Jersey after an undefined period of time in a mental institution for bipolar disorder. Pat is under the impression that he has been gone for only a year, during which time he spent bettering himself for his wife for when their "apart time" is over. Pat spends most of his time following a strict workout routine and working on "being nice instead of right". Pat returns to find many unpleasant changes, one large one being the destruction of his favorite place in the world, the Veteran Stadium, home to his beloved Philadelphia Eagles, where he spent most of his childhood with his brother and friends.

Not everything has changed in Pat's home though- his father is as cold towards him and his family as he has always been, spending most of his time secluded in his office away from his family with the exception of Eagles game days when he drinks, cheers, and curses with his sons, allowing the Eagles success or lack there of to determine how he treats his family for the next week. Pat, in his recent attempt to be more sensitive to women in order to be a better husband to Nikki when they are reunited, notices his mother struggling with the behavior of her husband, who neglects his family and appears to resent Pat for his mental challenges.

As Pat tries to re-assimilate into his life at home, with his family who does not seem to understand his longing to be reunited with his wife and his new psychiatrist and medications, Pat is also trying to figure out how to handle another woman, Tiffany, introduced to him by his best friend Ronnie, who is wrought with psychological challenges of her own.

Tiffany is introduced to Pat with a warning that she has been struggling mentally after losing her husband. Tiffany is a unique character with strong and very forward social habits that are overwhelming and confusing for Pat when he first meets her. The two develop a strange relationship, as she persistently pursues Pat in more ways than one despite his rejections due to his greatly anticipated reunion with Nikki.

Tiffany offers to act as a mediator between Pat and his wife, whom he is led to believe he cannot not see until after he has improved himself mentally and as a husband. In return however, Pat must help her in a duet routine for the showcase, "Dance Away Depression". From here the author provides a montage of the building of a dance routine and a friendship as Pat and Tiffany appear to need each other more than they initially realized. Pat finds that Tiffany is the only person that he can relate as he struggles with his angry fits, his ill-informed memories, and his fragile relationships with his family and friends.

Silver Linings Playbook presents an inside, close and personal view into the mind of someone experiencing a psychological issue and we are shown the stages of denial, relapse, acceptance and improvement and every emotionally challenging step in between. Not only does the author of this book provide a truly insightful look into this all-too-common issue, but he does it in a way that manages to be incredibly moving, but witty and comical at the same time. The author demonstrates the effects that mental illness has on not only the affected individual but on one's family and friends as well. Most importantly, the author, through Pat, tells the reader that if one strives hard enough even after the most traumatic of experiences, it is possible to reach one's silver lining.

It is very difficult for me to limit my synopsis, because every line of this book is worthy of discussion and appreciation. It is a quick and addicting page turner with a very laid-back, dry and comical style that manages to take a very emotional and frankly sad subject and portray it in a way that provides a sense of relatability and hopefulness. It is really worth reading, so I don't want to include any spoilers. Not only is this book heart-wrenching and startling, but it also advocates so strongly for hope, for determination, for friendship and family, and for acceptance and understanding. I could not recommend this book more strongly.

For Fans and Non-Fans

The role that the Philadelphia Eagles play in this book is not so big a role that a non-fan would want to avoid it, but it is also enough to satisfy a die-hard fan who can't get enough of Eagles game day traditions, tailgating, and anti-Dallas propaganda. For a non-Eagles fan, the story itself (aside from the Eagles) is one of the most profound, moving, and relateable stories I have ever read. For an Eagles fan though, the story reminds us (I say us, as I was born and raised right outside Philadelphia) of a season that gave us both immense hope, excitement, and heart-breaking disappointment. Despite what may have been heard about this book, it is not a book about the Philadelphia Eagles. It is a story of a young man coping with a mental illness that has affected his marriage, his family and his loved ones, and his attempt at reconciling everything that was damaged in hopes of reaching what he calls his "silver lining". The storyline simply happens to coincide with the 2006 season, and there are plot elements that interweave with individual games and players, as Pat's family is from South Jersey and live for the Eagles, but the team is merely one of the things that helps Pat achieve his silver lining.

For an interesting article concerning both the film and the book's relationship with the Philadelphia Eagles, click this link for an article in the Hollywood Reporter, by Tatiana Siegal.

Official Trailer

“Most people lose the ability to see silver linings even though they are always there above us almost every day.”

Film Adaptation

If you have yet to see this film or read this book, please read it first. I am not against watching films based on books, but the film does vary greatly from the novel. For example, the film follows an entirely different season than the story in the novel follows. It has large differences which surely add to the effectiveness of the film, but they are a downgrade from the original story in Matthew Quick's book.

That said, I strongly recommend seeing the movie as well. The film was released in the US November 16th, 2012 and was an instant and enormous success and has since been nominated for eight Oscar nominations including Best Lead Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Lead Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Picture, and Best Director (David Russell). It was also nominated for four Golden Globes, with Jennifer Lawrence winning best actress, three BAFTA (British Academy Film Awards) nominations, three Screen Actor's Guild nominations and five Independent Spirit Awards. Silver Linings Playbook received its debut at the 2012 Toronto International film festival where it was awarded the TIFF People's Choice Award. The script took director, Russell, multiple years to write because the original story is emotional and tragic but is also very funny and romantic. The genre of the film has thus been appropriately named, according to IMDB, an American romantic comedy-drama.

Other important cast members include Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher and Julia Stiles. The film has so-far earned nearly $79 million in the box office.

Author Matthew Quick at the premiere of Silver Linings Playbook
Author Matthew Quick at the premiere of Silver Linings Playbook | Source

Author Information

Matthew Quick grew up in Oakland, New Jersey and graduated from Collingswood High School (which is the same town that Pat and his family live in, in the story). Quick received his degree in English Literature from LaSalle University and an MFA from Goddard College. He left his job as an English High School teacher to write Silver Linings Playbook (which ended up being a great choice). He now lives in Massachusetts with his novelist wife, Alicia Bessette, whom he dedicated the novel to.

Silver Linings Playbook was his debut novel, published originally in 2008. His 2012 novel, Boy 21, has been favorably reviewed so far. He also published Sorta Like a Rockstar in 2010.

For more information on the author, his works, and the film adaptation of Silver Linings Playbook, visit his site here.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • uNicQue profile imageAUTHOR

      Nicole Quaste 

      4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Thank you for your comment! I really recommend the book. It's a quick read, on the shorter side. It's different enough from the film that it will not be a waste of time. Let me know if you read it and how you felt about it!

    • drej2522 profile image


      4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I just recently ran into Silver Linings Playbook (about a month or two ago) and I have to agree with your assessment. It was awesome. Of course, I didn't read the book, but now that I've seen your recommendation I may have go back and read it!

      I loved your review! Keep them comin!

    • uNicQue profile imageAUTHOR

      Nicole Quaste 

      4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Thank you! Did you ever end up reading the book and/or watching the movie? I'm curious how you felt about it :)

    • ct92 profile image

      5 years ago from Denmark

      Good review, thank you!

      I really want to watch the movie, and your review convinced me to go get the book first and read it.

      I hope I'll like it, it sounds like a good one!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)