Matthew Quick has become one of my favorite authors. This is the third book of his I’ve read in the last few months and each gets better than the last, Silver Linings Playbook to the Good Luck of Right Now. Sure, everyone has heard about Silver Linings. Being up for numerous Oscars a year ago will do that. But read the book first. It is far better than the movie. Except for the Natural with Robert Redford, the book always wins.
In Quick’s latest, the story follows Bartholomew. He is a forty-year-old man that has been in the care of his mother all his life. Until, cancer takes her life in a gruesome way. Now, Bartholomew isn’t sure what to do, doesn’t understand why his electric bills keep getting paid, or how to deal with a Catholic priest staying in his house.
A letter that he finds in his mother’s underwear drawer will lead the way, and then Bartholomew starts a new life, writing to Richard Gere along the way. Actually, the entire book is one long letter to Gere. His mother was a big fan and the actor becomes part of Bartholomew’s subconscious. This plays a big role in the ending, which I don’t want to spoil. All in all, this is a great read that touches on the theory of synchronicity, dating, the teachings of the Dalai Lama, alien abduction, and the Catholic Church. Cats also play a role. I have yet to check on Wikipedia if Cat Parliament truly exists in Canada. Who knows? Maybe it does.
With characters this deep and so much going on, at times it is easy to overlook that this is a book about a man’s earnest and heartfelt attempt to get his life back on track and assemble a family of his own. At the end, I couldn’t help but wonder if I am truly preparing my child to live on their own one day. It’s a somber thought. Life is not necessarily about possessions. It’s about the legacy we leave behind.
For any reader, there are many potential takeaways from the mother’s Good Luck of Right Now philosophy to understanding the importance of therapy. Everyone can find something here, even if it is by luck. Give this book the time. It is worth reading.
- Someone asked me for a copy of the book, and, alas, I couldn’t find it. But I found an old box filled with all sorts of treasures. Just maybe, I find it somewhere in here.