The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

silverWho cries after listening to Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart?

Pat Peoples, the offbeat hero of The Silver Linings Playbook.

When in a difficult situation where retaliating through violence or similar abuse is probable, he runs away, literally, from the situation, until he can feel his tears mixing with his sweat. Yes, Pat is a man who cries when he’s being unkind.

He’s special that way.

So everyday he improves his mind by reading books and everyday he improves his body by running and lifting weights. And he improves his soul by sincerely being friends with a woman who can give him nothing, it seems, a woman he isn’t married to.

My favorite scene was when Pat was holding his best friend’s daughter, Emily, in the water, just treading and letting the waves and the sun embrace them and realizing in that one unexpected moment that he can be happy doing just that, just swimming with a little girl, so he kisses her chubby cheeks repeatedly and vows to create a little girl of his own.

That went straight to my female heart.

Very few men I know reveal their true feelings about their families and children so it’s heart-warming to know when they do.

Another thing of note in this book is how the author reveals our treatment of people who are mentally unstable, how we glorify their perceived weaknesses. And it’s tragic how we can be unkind to and disrespectful of people who are just having a hard time dealing with all the shit the world gives them, as if we got it all figured out ourselves and that our perfect lives is something to be admired or aspired to.

I like Pat Peoples, not because he’s sweet in his delusion that he’ll ever get back his old life, but because he sincerely wants to rebuild himself into a better man.

So if all men were like Pat Peoples, I wouldn’t mind if they cry over the silliest of love songs. Because if they can cry over a love song, they can cry over the smallest unkindness or injustice. God knows, the world needs more men like that.

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