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Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

Left Neglected (edition 2011)

by Lisa Genova

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936None9,273 (3.91)84
Title:Left Neglected
Authors:Lisa Genova
Info:Gallery Books (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:stroke, illness, rehabilitation

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Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

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English (82)  Finnish (1)  All languages (83)
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
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 |
This book give a touching account of one woman, Sarah Nickerson, that acquires a brain injury from a car accident that leaves her with Left Neglect and how her and her family deal with how life as they know it changes more than they could have ever imagined before. Now Sarah has Left Neglect a form of neurological disorder that leaves a person with no concept of Left. They no longer perceive anything on their left side or the left side of anything to the right and then their brain tried to fill in the gaps. Essentially making it seem like they are seeing everything when they are really only seeing half of everything. Also along with this Sarah no longer associates her left arm and left leg as part of her body that she can control so they can easily get caught in things or get left in places she is unaware of. Also when asked Sarah would respond that she is aware she does have a left arm and leg but she doesn't know where they are and at times had great difficulty finding them.

While learning about Neglect in my Communication Disorders in Adults class in post-grad I heard about this book and went right out and got the book from my local library. At the time I didn't get a chance to read it before it was due back. I then later picked up the audiobook which sat waiting to be read, along with a paperback copy I picked up not long after from a used bookstore, for nearly 2 years. I can't believe I waited this long to read this book! I absolutely loved it and wish I had read it sooner. :) ( )
  KieliAnne | Aug 24, 2013 |
I really enjoyed Lisa Genova's last book "Still Alice" so I was excited to get this new one by her. It is just as good and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Genova often starts with a premise that sounds depressing and not something you want to read about (in Still Alice it was early onset dementia and in this book a young mother with traumatic brain injury) and yet turns it into an uplifting interesting book. Her careful character development is really what makes her novels work so well. You end up really caring about the character. In the beginning of this book I didn't really like the protagonist but in the end I did, and I think that was what Genova was going for. Highly recommend this one. ( )
  castironskillet | Aug 13, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 82 (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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