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Left Neglected [Paperback]

Lisa Genova
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Sep 2011
One typical morning, Sarah Nickerson, a woman in her mid-thirties, is late for work, racing in her car after dropping her kids off at school and daycare. She tries to phone in to a meeting she should already be at when she takes her eye off the road for a second too long. In that blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her over-scheduled life come to a screeching halt. Sarah suffers a traumatic head injury. Her memory and intellect are intact, but she has lost all interest in, and the ability to perceive, information coming from the left side of space. The left side of her world has gone. Sarah only eats the food from the right side of her plate. She can't see her watch, or her engagement diamond or her wedding ring. She tries to use a wheel chair but can only spin in circles as her left arm dangles by her side.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd; First Thus edition (1 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849835721
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849835725
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Remember how you couldn't put down Still Alice? Well, clear your schedule--because you're going to feel the same way." --JODI PICOULT Then we are using this full quote, with full attribution, on top of back cover: "The journey Lisa Genova takes us on in LEFT NEGLECTED is a personal one, for any woman who's ever had to make a business call while driving to day care, or who finishes a full day's work at a high-powered job only to start the second shift as a mom: sometimes, we literally need a shock to the system to remember what matters the most in life. Remember how you couldn't put down STILL ALICE? Well, clear your schedule - because you're going to feel the same way." - Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of HOUSE RULES and SING YOU HOME "Lisa Genova is the Michael Crichton of brain science. What she proved with Still Alice, she proves again with Left Neglected. This is huge, powerful human drama at its elegant best." --Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean "As Sarah Nickerson works her way through a devastating brain injury and back into her hectic life, she is forced to re-evaluate what really matters. I dare any reader to not do the same in their own lives after reading this book." --Ann Hood, author of Comfort, The Red Thread and Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine "Lisa Genova has done it again! By turns chilling and deeply moving, Left Neglected is a stunning reminder that a single moment can change a life...A Triumph on many levels" --Brunonia Barry, New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader "Achingly real. Beautifully written. Lisa Genova takes us on a moving journey of loss, forgiveness, hope, love and the resilience of the human spirit." -- Julia Fox Garrison, author of Don't Leave Me This Way "Intuitive and captivating. In this moving chronicle of a family's struggle with brain injury, Lisa Genova powerfully conveys the shattering trials of an ordinary life made alien by brain injury, and in the process reveals the true power and strength of the human spirit. Left Neglected will leave you stunned and inspired." -- Michael Paul Mason, author of Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Its Aftermath "Devastating and hopeful, haunting and familiar, Left Neglected is a triumph of insight and empathy." -- Stefan Merrill Block, International Bestselling author of The Story of Forgetting and The Storm at the Door "Once again, Lisa Genova goes where few authors dare, and mines a compelling and beautifully written story about finding peace, wisdom and human connection. While Sarah Nickerson's condition is rare, her journey is universal. " --Lynn Kiele Bonasia, author of Summer Shift 'A sentimental but compelling read that reminds us that appreciating health is a no-brainer' The Lady 22/3 'Insightful ... a stark reminder of the fine line that separates everyday life from disaster' Daily Mail

About the Author

Lisa Genova graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University. She is a member of the Dementia Advocacy and Support Network International and DementiaUSA and is an online columnist for the National Alzheimer's Association. She lives with her husband and two children on the Cape. Still Alice is her first novel. She is currently at work on her second that also centers on a neurologist impairment called Left Neglected.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neglect takes many forms... 3 Jan 2011
Lisa Genova's debut, self-published novel, Still Alice made it onto my Top Ten Books of 2010 so I held high hopes for this, her latest novel, published on 4th January 2011. Again, the focus is on a brain disorder - in Still Alice it was early onset dementia and in Left Neglected it is Left Neglect, a disorder whereby the brain is unable to perceive anything on the left hand side. Left Neglect is a much rarer condition than dementia so the subject matter does not immediately resonate with the reader in the way that Alice's deterioration did but I think this is a plus point for readers as those who perhaps avoided Still Alice as it was too close to the bone might feel less threatened and would not have personal experiences which might cloud their reading enjoyment.

Our narrator, Sarah Nickerson, is a 37 year old high flyer who seems to have it all, happily married with 3 young children, has a successful career in human resources, lives in an affluent suburb in Boston. Okay, if you scrape the surface a little you might see some flaws - 80 hour working week, tensions of juggling career and childcare, working towards getting more money to get a bigger house in order to have live-in childcare - perhaps not the American Dream after all? Following a car accident, Sarah's life is turned upside down, or, should that be, slightly askew as she has to adjust to life with Left Neglect. It proves extremely difficult for such a high-flying perfectionist to appreciate how long it will take her to re-learn basic life skills and even more traumatic for her to accept help from her mother who had emotionally neglected her since childhood.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This novel is excellent if you want to learn more about the condition called "neglect" without reading medical journals and get a feel of it "from the inside", but the story is a little bit too sweet and comfortable for me. The message seems to be that this complicated dysfunction really was to the best for the main character and her family and that's really too neat to be entirely credible.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
Sarah Nickerson is a high flying executive in her late 30s with three young children. She multi-tasks at a frenetic pace - on the verge of being out of control, but thriving on the adrenalin. Then one day she has a car accident while driving to work. A brain injury to her right hemisphere leaves her with "left neglect", a condition in which her brain ignores information on the left side of her world, including the left side of her body. Over the next few months, as she gradually comes to terms with her new limitations, she re-evaluates many aspects of her previous life and gets to know the parts that she has "left neglected" along the way.

Lisa Genova's previous book, Still Alice demonstrates her ability to take the reader inside the mind of someone suffering from a debilitating condition (in that case, Alzheimer's). She is similarly successful at giving a sense of what it would be like to have literally half your world erased. However the story is less poignant and frankly, I got a little bored in the middle which felt quite repetitive. While the book picks up again, the ending felt unsatisfactorily, rushed, with one too many neat coincidences.

Genova writes well, but this is not as compelling as her first book. I never really cared enough about Sarah and I felt that the "lessons" were overly predictable. An interesting story, but ultimately just an okay read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and good for Picoult fans 17 Oct 2011
First of all, I think that the title of this book is very clever, just like the novel. When I picked up this book and even after reading the blurb, I had no idea that this book was about a neurological condition - in fact, I'd never even heard of 'Left Neglect' which is a condition also known as hemispatial neglect. This book definitely opened my eyes and taught me about this condition which I previously had no idea about. It was interesting to hear about the main character, Sarah, both before and after her accident and seeing the impact that her condition had not only on herself but upon the people around her, too. The other, emotionally based neglect regarding Sarah's relationship with her mother was also well written and rather emotional. The way it was intertwined with the dealing of Sarah's condition was very sensitively handled. I also thought it was very positive that the message of not using your phone whilst driving was reinforced near the end of the book. There was some light hearted humour which ran through the book too, which made it easier to read. Genova really managed to get into Sarah's character and really sympathise with her. The other family members felt strong too and I found Charlie facing ADHD and trying to tackle it alongside his mothers different condition very heartwarming. The whole book was interesting and although there weren't any 'cliff hangers', I felt compelled to keep reading on, simply because of the subject and the simple writing. I look forward to more of Genova's writing and she's definitely an author I'd recommend to those who enjoy novels by authors such as Jodi Picoult.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
What a wonderfully moving book a truly fantastic read. Motivational funny and thought inspiring.well worth the read. An insight to disability
Published 15 hours ago by Bobby Poll/Susan Poll
5.0 out of 5 stars Left Neglected
Another wonderful book by Lisa Genova. Left Neglected is about a 37-year old woman, Sarah Nickerson, who had led a very high-powered life as a vice president in a major consulting... Read more
Published 10 days ago by SammyF
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend to Read
I love this book, after reading Still Alice by the same author. Could not put it down, read it over one weekend.
Published 1 month ago by Miss J Barton
4.0 out of 5 stars The author knows what she is talking about.
Having read 'Still Alice,' I downloaded 'Left Neglected' and found it to be a real page-turner. I thought the medical/neurological side was very interesting, and was expecting... Read more
Published 2 months ago by fleetfox
4.0 out of 5 stars This Book Will Broaden Your Horizon
Set in present-day Boston and Vermont, Left Neglected leads you into the world of a business woman who only perceives the right side of everything, including herself. Read more
Published 2 months ago by darklittlelady
5.0 out of 5 stars very inspiring and uplifting
This story highlights the true emotional and physical trauma of someone with head injury or stroke. It tells of the life changing challenges and what one can achieve with a... Read more
Published 3 months ago by MRS EILEEN HOLLOWAY
5.0 out of 5 stars Alexis
I volunteer at an acquired brain injury charity and this was recommended to me by one of the clients. Fanastic story and I could relatecto the problems described. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Alexis
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful book
An excellent insight that helps go a long way to understanding what life maybe like living with left neglect. All Lisa's books give empathetic insight.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. G. A. Vye
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerfully moving story
With great insight into human behaviour and superb technical knowledge, the writer provides an emotional and thought provoking commentary on life's priorities.
Published 6 months ago by Greer Owen
4.0 out of 5 stars A good follow-up to Still Alice
I found this book to be interesting, thought-provoking and well-written. There were a lot of similarities with Still Alice, and I did not consider it to be as good as Still Alice,... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Pascale
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