Philadelphia is not only the home of the quintessentially American Liberty Bell, cheese steak, and Rocky, but now Philadelphia offers us another American original: Pat Peoples, the neurologically-damaged, ex-wife pining, mother-loving, uber Eagles fan protagonist of Matthew Quick’s dazzling debut novel The Silver Linings Playbook.

You might think that a book about a guy who has lost so much–his wife, his home, his job, and many years of his life in a mental health facility–would be depressing. Far from it. In fact, this book is uplifting. For what Quick offers us is not just the brutality of life–a father who won’t talk to his son, a cheating wife, many violent tempers–but also the beauty of it–finding love in unexpected people. Basically, Quick shows us that no matter how far down you fall, there are people willing to help you pick yourself back up. Quick gives us hope.

Does everything turn out the way Pat wanted it to? No. But it does turn out just as it should: with two broken souls coming together, hoping, and believing in the silver lining.

In short: a gorgeous, poignant, funny and uplifting book. Read it.

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