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Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
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Left Neglected (edition 2011)

by Lisa Genova

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1,1791016,832 (3.92)99
Member:writestuff
Title:Left Neglected
Authors:Lisa Genova
Info:Gallery Books (2011), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
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Tags:Women's Fiction

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Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

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Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
Review: Left Neglected by Lisa Genova.

What is Left Neglect?” It is a neuro-psychotical condition called, Neglect Syndrome which happens after damage to the right cerebral hemisphere of the brain causing a persons visual neglect of the left-hand side of the visual field as nonexistent to the patient even though it’s there. Their brain is not allowing the patient know that there is a left so the brain needs to be retrained if it’s possible at all to know there is a left side. If a patient draws a cat, they think they drew the whole cat but others see that they only drew half of the cat. So the patient also has to learn to look to the left and keep telling themselves there’s a left to everything….

This was a great and educational book. Heartwarming emotions, struggling affects, well-developed characters who encourages the reader to follow along with the family from their ordeal of their once enhance life to accepting the little things as being real achievements and triumph. Lisa Genova is an exceptional author and has a PHD in Neuroscience and medical background which helps her to thoroughly understand and explain the consequences of traumatic brain injury.

The story starts out with an upstanding family living in the fast lane. Bob and Sarah both graduated from Harvard Business School. They both enjoy the same life goals and competitiveness. Bob works for a company as a high-powered, highly educated executive and Sarah is a respected Vice-President of human resources, in a major high tech competitive company, working at least eighty hours a week, meanwhile trying to juggle being a mother and wife. Together they own two homes and plan to buy another soon. They have three children, Charlie who is having trouble in first grade, Lucy, four years old and likes dressing up fashionably, and there’s Linus just starting to walk. (As you can see there’s a pun in there somewhere from the Peanut characters) And we can’t forget the Nanny….

The first issue they need to address is why Charlie’s teacher calls them to school for a meeting. Charlie’s disturbing the class, doesn’t participate in class work, and the work he does do is all wrong. He’s in first grade and failing….Soon after, Sarah is having a typical morning drive to work, using her cell phone for many calls, texts, and emails, when she loses control of her car on a slick road and has a terrible accident. She wakes up in the hospital, her head is shaved and she has no knowledge of her left side of her body. The story becomes intense as Sarah struggles with her choices, as well as the rest of the family trying to adjust with many changes.

Sarah feels trapped; her brain no longer functions normally. She is stressed, and won’t accept that she might have to live with limitations. She goes through stages of denial, sadness, anger, and is terribly negative even when she achieves something in her recovery phase. There are so many heartwarming events throughout this story and also a few things written with a little humor but what was really amazing is the reader is taken through this recovery process being able to feel and understand the emotional struggle that Sarah and her family went through and the sacrifices and choices they were willing to make to stay a family….

( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
(15) This is a quickly read novel by the author of 'Still Alice,' which was a gripping read narrated by a neuroscientist who realizes she has early onset Alzheimer's Disease. This puts a similar face on the neurological condition of left-sided neglect which is usually a post-stroke phenomenon that most of us doctors only learn about n medical school but don't really ever see. Genova is a neuroscientist, who also just happens to be a decent writer in terms of plot, dramatic tension, pacing. This book clipped right along and I could certainly relate to Sarah Nickerson, our protagonist, a 30-something working mother in corporate American, living in yuppie vile, with two mortgages, two kids, student loans, and a luxury vehicle -- a lot of balls in the air and trying to project a perfect life. It all comes crashing down on her after a car accident leaves her with this bizarre neurological handicap.

In many ways, this story is much more 'Lifetime' movie of the week than 'Still Alice." It had that happily ever after kind of vibe that detracted just a bit where as her first novel was a bit more gritty, sad. But nevertheless , I thought it was entertaining, succinct, funny, poignant and an all around entertaining read. Excellent airplane, beach reading material. I hate to say it, but one can almost multi-task while reading it -- despite the disastrous consequences of such behavior pointed out in the novel.

I will read more of her novels. I like the New England settings, The demographics of her protagonists speak to me. Not great literature to be sure, but satisfying and interesting. ( )
  jhowell | Apr 8, 2016 |
This novel introduced to me a medical condition I've never heard of before, left neglect. I tried to imagine not knowing what my left side is doing, not knowing if my hand is clutching something or waving or even still there. Everything should work, but the brain just doesn't process the left side.

While interesting, this book didn't engage we quite as much as the others I've read by this author, especially Still Alice. The protagonist was stretched thin with family and career, but I didn't especially like her. She had more than a little hubris, and prided herself on multitasking. Wow, did that go wrong!

There were heartfelt moments in the book, and some funny ones, too, although at the expense of Sarah. To me, though, I just couldn't connect with Sarah. She didn't have the depth I expected from one of Genova's characters. This is still a good book, but I liked both Still Alice and Inside the O'Briens better.

I listened to an audio version of this novel, and the narrator is quite good. ( )
  TooBusyReading | Mar 27, 2016 |
Hard-working supermom Claire gets into a car accident that leaves her with brain damage. She has a condition known as Left Neglect which means she is no longer aware of anything that's in the left side of her world.

Very well-written. ( )
  jenn88 | Feb 14, 2016 |
Another excellent story by Lisa Genova, very moving and thought-provoking; a compelling read I didn't want to put down. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
Lisa Genova holds a doctorate in neuroscience from Harvard. She knows her way around the human brain, and it shows....
Genova is a master of getting into the heads of her characters, relating from the inside out what it's like to suffer from a debilitating disease. How she does it we don't know, but she does, and brilliantly....This is a well-told tale from a keen medical mind. Picking up anything written by Genova is quickly becoming, well, a no-brainer.

 
If Lisa Genova’s objective is to shed light, from inside the brain, on rarely looked at neurological conditions, as she did in her bestselling first novel, Still Alice, then she succeeds with Left Neglected....If there’s a weakness at all in Left Neglected, it’s that the novel doesn’t feel as vital and immediate as Still Alice, which may be attributed to the first novel having been born out of Genova’s intense feelings about her grandmother’s Alzheimer’s. Or it could just be the usual sophomoric tendency to put your all into your first project. While the empathy she is intent on showing is never clunky, the story is a touch clichéd in places and it would be a shame in the future to see Genova err on the side of the formulaic.

 
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Sarah, a career-driven young mother, suffers a traumatic brain injury in a car accident that leaves her unable to perceive left-side information. The disability causes her to struggle through an uncertain recovery as she adapts to her new life.

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