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304 pages, Hardcover
First published February 2, 2014
I wondered if faith were not a form of pretendingYou’re in Luck! Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook, has written an incredibly moving story, populated with his usual range of damaged, quirky, lovable characters, but containing a core of significant philosophical substance.
Like the haloed saints depicted in stained glass at Saint Gabriel’s, Mom seemed to be guided by divinity. Her madness appeared holy. She was bathed in light.Some part of Bartholomew believes that Richard Gere cosmically reads the letters he writes. And a part of his affection for Gere has to do with Gere’s Buddhism and alliance with the Dalai Lama. His one-sided communications are reminiscent of how the prayerful might feel about a favored saint. Father McNamee believes that God has spoken to him, and hopes He will again. He spends long hours on his knees, in prayer. Max believes in aliens, and swearing. Others believe that bad and hurt people will get better with counseling.
“Life is shit,” my young redheaded grief counselor Wendy says whenever we reach an impasse in our conversation.
It is her default platitude.
Her words of wisdom for me.
“Life is shit.”
When Wendy says that, it’s like she’s pretending we are not bound together by her job, but really truly are friends. It’s like we’re having a beer at the bar, like friends on TV do.
“Life is shit.”
She whispers it even. Like she’s not supposed to say that to me, but wants me to know that her happy talk and positivity are part of her pretending game.
"You are my confidant, Richard Gere, and I'm not about to share my pretending with anyone, because pretending often ends when you allow non pretenders access to the better safer worlds you create for yourself."