Left Neglected

Left Neglected

Large Print - 2011
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In the prime of her life, a woman's fate takes a tragic turn when a devastating car accident leaves her crippled with a debilitating brain disorder.
Publisher: Waterville, Me. : Wheeler Pub., 2011
Edition: Large print ed
ISBN: 9781410433824
141043382X
Branch Call Number: LP GENOVA
Characteristics: 487 p. (large print) ; 23 cm

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Anybody who has read Lisa Genova’s Still Alice, knows to expect the best. Having said that, Genova has exceeded my expectations with this book that deals with the consequences of one woman’s distraction at the wheel and her subsequent brain injury. The tale she spins, though predictable, has a real emotional appeal, but it is not ‘chick lit.’ If we could all simplify our lives without having to do so after such a traumatic “wake-up-call”. (submitted by library customer MA)

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firefly5
Sep 26, 2018

Fascinating story, you will find it hard to put the book down. I could not imagine the effects of the brain injury and googled it, yes it is a real condition. Lisa Genova is an excellent writer, her characters are so real. When I read one of her books, I feel as though I know the people I am reading about. I love how she has drawn a parallel between Sarah and Charlie with his ADHD. Both mother and son have difficulties to overcome. Her own mother enters the story and issues of the past are dealt with. Fantastic book!

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telger
Aug 20, 2018

This is my first Lisa Genova book and I thoroughly enjoyed and processed it as I was feeling the same burn out as the main character in this book. The feelings were raw and relatable, the situations and scenes were like playing infront of me. So real!

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Jul 24, 2018

After reading Still Alice, I was very excited to read this book but I did not receive the same excitement from Left Neglected. Left Neglected is a good book, but I think it could have been written better. Sara Nickerson is a busy ‘super’ mom trying to do it all, she has three kids under the age of eight and works eighty hours a week. On her way to work she get distracted by her cell phone and in the blink of an eye she is in the hospital. Sara Nickerson has Left Neglect, a condition where the brain completely ignores the left side. After three months in the hospital in a wheelchair, Sara starts to wonder if her life will ever be the same. Left Neglected was good, but it got boring in some parts. One thing that I disliked about the book was the dreams at the beginning of the chapter. The dreams made no sense and they were very annoying to read. I have never heard of Left Neglect so I was interested in reading the book and overall I did enjoy the book. This book is considered an ‘adult read’ but I think that it’s suitable for young readers thirteen and older. Rating- 4/5 stars.
- @readit12 of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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susan_findlay
May 23, 2017

This is the third book I've read by Lisa Genova. I gave the other two 5 stars. This one hovers in the 3 to 3.5 star range. Objectively, it ought to be as good as Still Alice and Inside the O'Briens. The medical condition is a bit less tragic than early onset Alzheimers or Huntington's disease, but it still royally messed up the main character's life - and I don't really like to play the "whose tragedy is more tragic" game. This one's pretty darn awful. Also, I'd never heard of left neglect before, and I love learning about new things. So, intellectually, that's an advantage for this book.

Emotionally, though, this book doesn't resonate the way that the other two do. It never made me cry. I don't need to cry to give a book 5 stars, but I feel like this book should have made me cry given the subject matter. If I put myself in the main character's shoes, I would be absolutely crushed to lose control over half my body, thereby losing my job and not even being able to look after my children. So, why didn't I put myself in her shoes? I *was* Alice when I was reading her story, but never once was I Sarah.

The trouble started with the dream sequences at the beginning of the first six chapters. I think they were supposed to convince me that Sarah is really really busy and that that's taking its toll on her mentally, leaving her really really stressed. But mostly they annoyed me. They broke the flow of the story. They didn't make me sympathize with poor stressed out Sarah; they made me grumpy. They didn't really impart much useful information either; the only one that really helped me get to know Sarah was the one about her childhood; the rest were just random weird dreams - and "person who has random weird dreams" isn't a particularly unique character trait. I was very very happy to see that chapter seven started without an annoying dream sequence.

Another thing that made it difficult to sympathize with Sarah was that her condition was not due to genetics beyond her control. It was her own damn fault. I don't question the validity of including the point that "this thing that a lot of people do is really stupid and can result in people getting really badly hurt", but it made it a bit harder to sympathize with the character. For most of the book, it also felt like that point was just going to be glossed over and ignored; I'm thankful that it was eventually revisited.

Finally, it can be hard to relate to "oh no! how will we afford the mortgages on our very expensive home and our vacation ski lodge?". The eventual solution felt a little pat, and like it would only ever happen to people who lead totally charmed lives. Basically, if you were someone who sympathizes with Eponine rather than Cosette (for those who know Les Miserables), you may find it difficult to sympathize with Sarah. She has the same "tragic childhood, but her life has been pretty perfect for a long time" thing going for her that Cosette did. I think her son Charlie's ADD storyline was included to try and make her life feel less charmed, but it felt tacked on - and, frankly, it was his issue not hers.

All this said, it's not a bad book. It was worth reading. It was interesting. But it would have been *so* much better without those annoying dream sequences (which, I think, predisposed me to be annoyed by the rest of my relatively minor grievances with the book).

l
lilypad_1
Aug 29, 2015

Fascinating. Hopeful.

avidreader2002 Mar 11, 2015

Fascinating read.

s
sparkybobbi2
Jul 27, 2014

This book read "slower" than STILL ALICE and LOVE ANTHONY, in my opinion. However, the topic was stimulating, information well-researched, character realistic. The ending left me wanting. GOOD READ.

FREDDIE MARSDEN SMITH Jul 21, 2014

Well written, personalized story of a brain injury.
Adds a really unblinking dimension to recovery. Good read on many levels.

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "Excellent novel. Although it is about about a terrible car accident and the brain injury character Sarah must learn to live with, I found this to be a hopeful story.

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carolefort
Sep 11, 2011

From book jacket. Sarah Nickerson is like any other career-driven supermom in Welmont, the affluent Boston suburb where she leads a hectic but charmed life with her husband Bob, faithful nanny, and three children, Lucy, Charlie, and nine-month-old Linus. Between recruiting the best and brightest minds as the vice president of human resources at Berkley Consulting; shuttling the kids to soccer, 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-achieving Harvard graduate has time to breathe. A self-confessed balloon about to burst, Sarah miraculously manages every minute of her life like an air traffic controller. Until one fateful day, while driving to work and trying to make a phone call, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In the blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her jam-packed life come to a screeching halt. A traumatic brain injury completely erases the left side of her world, and for once, Sarah must pay close attention to the details surrounding her, including her formerly absent mother. Without an awareness of the food on the left side of her plate or even her own left hand, she is forced to search for answers in the void of this strange hemi-world, both about the past and her uncertain future. Now, as she wills herself to regain her independence and heal, Sarah must learn that her real destiny, her new, true life, may lie far from the world of conference calls and spreadsheets. And that a happiness and peace greater than all the success in the world is close within reach, if only she slows down long enough to notice.

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