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Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
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Left Neglected (edition 2011)

by Lisa Genova

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975848,833 (3.91)86
Member:SqueakyChu
Title:Left Neglected
Authors:Lisa Genova
Info:Gallery Books (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:stroke, illness, rehabilitation

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Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

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English (83)  Finnish (1)  All languages (84)
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
This book was absolutely amazing. I had no idea that it would pull me in like it did. Now I can't wait to read Still Alice. ( )
  Tamara_Da_Hunt | Jul 8, 2014 |
What is really important in life? This story examines that question through the eyes of a career driven woman suddenly laid low by a car accident. Sarah was a constantly on the go businesswoman whose pace of life was so fast it is no surprise that she is often on the phone while she is driving--a near fatal error that leads to an accident and to a brain injury. The brain injury leaves Sarah with a condition called "Left Neglect"--her brain no longer realizes that there is a "left", so things on the left side of her vision disappear, and she also has no control over the left side of her body. Still, Sarah is elated to be alive, and she plunges into therapy, thinking that since she has never failed at anything she will be back at work in no time. Except she isn't. And when she does return home she needs lots of help--which is when her mother, whom she has hardly spoken to in years, reenters her life. As Sarah works through her recovery, she finds that taking things at a slower pace and actually spending time with her mother, husband and children make her notice things that she never slowed down to take note of before. Sarah changes--but does her family change with her?
I highly recommend this, especially if you like books that explore medical issues and/or family issues. I found it engrossing and the characters felt very real to me. ( )
  debs4jc | May 2, 2014 |
a book about finding yourself ( )
  iammoore | Jan 11, 2014 |
Author Lisa Genova here tries to do for a brain injury known commonly as "left neglected" what she did for dementia in her earlier "Still Alice." Genova does a tremendous job of describing what it feels like to be unable to perceive anything on the left side of one's body, and the shattering impact such an injury has on every aspect of one's life. However, she misses the mark on the story itself. (It didn't help that I kept flashing back to the Harrison Ford movie "Regarding Henry.") The protagonist, Sarah, is a successful woman narrowly focused on her career when tragedy strikes; while her journey makes for a poignant differentiation between "before the injury" and "after the injury," and an opportunity to contemplate "what's really important in life," it's a journey we've taken many times before (including in "Still Alice"). Other than Sarah, the characters are sketchily drawn--the husband, in particular, remains a blank--and resolutions both of Sarah's relationship with her mother and of the book overall are far too neat. ( )
  SLWert | Jan 2, 2014 |
Early Bird Review: I'm a little under halfway through the book at this point and, for the most part, I really like this book. Just a few early notes:

1) By chapter 6, I was getting bored with the constant replay of her dreams in page after page of italics. It was interesting at first but got old really fast.
2) Lisa Genova only writes about extremely, absurdly wealthy women and absolutely adores dripping a page with Fancy-Schmancy brand name dropping; which I find to be mildly distracting and semi-hard to relate with. Buuuuut, she is such a good storyteller that I often get absorbed enough to forget about it.
3) The son, Charlie, may have ADD and the parents are horrendously mortified at this possibility are react as if he has just been diagnosed with autism, mental retardation or some severe physical deformity that will shatter his life. The mother goes on-and-on about how children will ostracize him, call him names, ruin his childhood, etc. It was published in 2011, get with the times baby! ADD is not and has not been a life-threatening disease..ever. The 1990s was the decade to fret over the effects of ADD ravaging your child and making him "stupid". It's fairly easily treated with non-ritalin medication these days. So, this portion of the book seems really outdated (especially when written by someone who holds a PhD in Neuroscience, such as Ms. Genova does) and difficult to care about. We all know ADD, while definitely frustrating, is not that sign of a stupid child; it is often found in hyper-intelligent children.


Being that it is 2am, I think my completed review shall come in the morning... ;)

Onward ho, back to the book we go!

4 August: I stayed up all night long reading this book. The condition, same as the book's title, is absolutely fascinating. A genuinely real condition depicted incredibly well. I stand by my points of dislike listed above but I will still be pushing this book on many people. She writes with a knowledge that most authors don't have on brain injuries. The idea that a left side just simply ceases to exist is almost completely unfathomable to any healthy person. Of course it exists, we think, just turn your head and you'll see...

In Sarah Nickerson's world, that is no longer an easy feat. Left doesn't exist. She isn't missing anything, in her mind, it just ceases to appear. No sound, no light, no feeling, nothing is there. She cannot turn her head a direction that does not exists.. ( )
  tealightful | Sep 24, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
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.

 
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.

 
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For Chris and Ethan
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I think some small part of me knew I was living an unsustainable life.
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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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