Sunday, November 02, 2014

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova


Sarah is a busy and successful mom and career woman. She's a VP of HR at a consulting company and always on the go. Juggling this with her three kids takes a lot of work but somehow her husband and her manage to keep all the balls in the air. While trying to drive and answer emails, Sarah gets in an accident that results in a serious brain injury: she can no longer see or process anything on her left side. The disease is called Left Neglect and its sufferers don't realize that there is even a left. The picture of just the right looks whole to them. Sarah must go through rehabilitation, which brings her mother in to town to help her, and a variety of unresolved issues about her childhood.

Having never heard of Left Neglect, this book does a fantastic job of explaining what it is and an even better job of how someone processes and deals with having it. We watch Sarah go through many emotions from when she doesn't even know she has any problems to surprise of having the disease, some denial, hope to getting back to work, and acceptance of how hard things are going to be.

Funnily enough, I felt that Sarah was a bit stuck up (she mentioned how she was a Harvard grad too many times to count) and don't feel like I was pulling for her as much as I could have been if the character hadn't been written the way she was in the first 100 pages or so. I'm not sure if this was meant to be like this, or if Genova was iterating how educated and put-together Sarah was so we could see how left neglect could completely destroy everyday life for someone like that.

I really enjoyed this book. It taught me about something I never knew about before and was an easy read.

First Line: "I think some part of me knew I was living an unsustainable life."


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