Title: Left Neglected
Author: Lisa Genova
Published: Simon & Schuster, 2011
Sarah Nickerson has it all: the high-flying career, the loving family, the second home. But between excelling at work; shuttling the kids to football, day care, and piano lessons; convincing her son’s teacher that he may not, in fact, have ADD; and making it home in time for dinner, it’s a wonder this over-scheduled over-achiever has time to breathe.
Sarah manages every minute of her life like an air traffic controller, until one fateful day, while driving to work, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In the blink of an eye, her chaotic life comes to a screeching halt. A traumatic brain injury completely erases the left side of her world. For once, Sarah must relinquish control to those around her, including her formerly absent mother. As she wills herself to heal, Sarah must learn that a happiness greater than all the success in the world is close within reach, if only she slows down long enough to notice.
An insightful and sometimes frustrating look into the effects of a brain injury on both patient and family.
Sarah Nickerson is a high powered wife and mother. Every minute is scheduled. Double booked even. No rest for the wicked and all that. Make all the monies. You know. Long days, minimal sleep, the last time she had an afternoon of rest and relaxation was…. never. Firstly, let me just say – not my kinda life. I could maybe uphold that for… 3 weeks? A month? That aside, after Sarah has a car accident, she winds up with left neglect. Which effectively means that she forgets her whole left side exists.
We follow Sarah as she struggles to come to terms with her new normal, and at the same time her son is struggling with how to manage his ADD. Her life has changed dramatically, and as much as she works and pushes her rehab, there comes a point where she just isn’t going to get any better. Then comes the mental struggle. Chuck her mother in the mix and you’ve found Sarah’s hell.
I really enjoyed Left Neglected, seeing Sarah improve, and deal with her mental struggles – like if she keeps forgetting she has a left leg, how is she ever going to ski again?
Lisa Genova has a PhD in Neuroscience, and as a nurse who has worked in neurology I find her books fascinating. Still Alice explores Alzheimers, and her newest book Love Anthony looks into autism. All of these are written about in a fascinating, tactful, engaging manner. Her writing is easy to read, and for me un-put-down-able. She explores difficult and complicated topics in an easy to read and easy to understand manner.
A: Almost Flawless!
Have you read Left Neglected? Have you read any of Lisa Genova’s other books? Let me know what you think in the comments!