Left Neglected

Left Neglected

4.0 378
by Lisa Genova

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From Lisa Genova—whose novel Still Alice is soon to be a major motion picture starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Kristen Stewart—comes this New York Times bestselling novel of resilience in the face of a devastating diagnosis. A vibrant mother in her thirties learns what matters most in life when a car crash leaves her…  See more details below


From Lisa Genova—whose novel Still Alice is soon to be a major motion picture starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Kristen Stewart—comes this New York Times bestselling novel of resilience in the face of a devastating diagnosis. A vibrant mother in her thirties learns what matters most in life when a car crash leaves her with a traumatic brain disorder called "left neglect."

Sarah Nickerson, like any other working mom, is busy trying to have it all. One morning while racing to work and distracted by her cell phone, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In that blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her over-scheduled life come to a screeching halt. After a brain injury steals her awareness of everything on her left side, Sarah must retrain her mind to perceive the world as a whole. In so doing, she also learns how to pay attention to the people and parts of her life that matter most.

In this powerful and poignant New York Times bestseller, Lisa Genova explores what can happen when we are forced to change our perception of everything around us. Left Neglected is an unforgettable story about finding abundance in the most difficult of circumstances, learning to pay attention to the details, and nourishing what truly matters.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A chilling novel that explores the resilience of the human spirit.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“A redemptive story about family relationships, and how when life throws you a curveball, you can still hit it out of the park.”The Vancouver Sun

“Irresistibly readable and moving.”Booklist

Publishers Weekly
In neuroscientist Genova's second novel (after Still Alice), a car crash gives a successful younger woman an obscure neurological syndrome called Left Neglect. Upwardly mobile Sarah and Bob Nickerson live in suburban Massachusetts with their three small children. Both work 60-hour weeks, though the economic downturn looms. When Sarah wakes up eight days after crashing her car on the way to work, the doctors inform her of her condition, which causes her brain to ignore the left side of everything, and she begins a long and uncertain recovery. Genova vividly describes Sarah's fear and frustration about a recovery that may never come, turning her struggle into a lesson in forgiveness, acceptance, and adaptability; insights reveal themselves with extreme clarity, and small moments between Bob and Sarah illustrate his stalwart love, though readers may want a more thorough investigation of his growing role as caretaker, and as a character. More accessible than her somber first book, which dealt with early-onset Alzheimer's, the central condition causes readers to wonder what brain disease she will think of next. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Neuroscientist Genova's (www.lisagenova.com) second novel—following the New York Times best seller Still Alice (2009), also available from Recorded Books/S. & S. Audio—centers on 37-year-old Bostonian Sarah Nickerson. Sarah is a typical working mother of three: overwhelmingly busy, exhausted, and overextended…until a car accident leaves her with a traumatic brain injury that erases the entire left side of her world. This neurological condition, from which the novel gets its title, is mirrored in the first-person narrative, which is told in two parts: Sarah before the accident, and Sarah after the accident, learning to appreciate every little thing and finding life within herself. Actress Sarah Paulson lends the perfect voice to Sarah's thoughts and feelings as well as to the people around her. Highly recommended for all. ["A moving story that shows how brain trauma forces people to change their lives," read the review of the Gallery: S. & S. hc, LJ 11/15/10.—Ed.]—Beth Traylor, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libs.

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Product Details

Gallery Books
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5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

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Left Neglected 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 378 reviews.
irishbookworm21 More than 1 year ago
Like most working mothers, Sarah Nickerson never has enough hours in the day. Between her high-powered corporate job, husband, three children, two homes, Sarah has filled every minute of every day with something. Life is literally passing her by as she tries to have it all. One rainy night, Sarah is rushing back to her office to put in more hours, begins digging for her cell phone, and in an instant, her life is changed forever. When Sarah wakes up from a devastating car accident, she is suffering from Left Neglect. Due to damage to the right side of her brain, Sarah no longer recognizes anything on the left side. As she begins to work towards her recovery, Sarah also begins to realize all of the other aspects of her life she was neglecting. She may have had money, power, and prestige, but she was missing out on soccer games, piano recitals, and the lives of her husband and children. Sarah's injury and recovery force her to re-examine her priorities and re-evaluate what is really important. Left Neglected is a fantastic novel by Lisa Genova. Her characters, while affluent in this case, could really embody the lives of any working family. We all get caught up in the day-to-day activities and begin to take our blessings for granted. We simply get so busy in our lives that we forget to really live them. Genova crafts the story wonderfully, taking readers on a walk through the lives of Sarah and her family. If I had any negatives to post, it would be the sort of glossing over of the relationship between Sarah and her mother. Additionally, the story could have been built up further with regards to the other characters as well, as the length of the advanced copy of the book is only at just over 300 pages. That leaves a lot of additional space for learning more about the lives of Sarah and her family members beyond what is written. The hope here is that Genova's tale is enough to make us all take a step back and rearrange our priorities. Maybe we cut back on the things we really don't need. Maybe we have our children choose one sport instead of trying them all. And maybe, just maybe, we realize just how precious life is right now, instead of waiting for a tragedy to teach us differently. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Lynie More than 1 year ago
Sarah Nickerson has it all; a loving husband, three young children, a high powered job, an expensive home and a vacation home in Vermont. She also has all of the accompanying stress of trying to be everything to everyone. Rushing as usual while trying to keep all of her balls in the air, Sarah is driving to work in the rain while on her cell phone when the unthinkable happens. She has a car accident while going 70 mph and wakes up in the hospital with a severe brain injury that has caused a condition called left neglect. Sarah's brain is unable to recognize left; the left side of her body or anything in her left field of vision. LEFT NEGLECTED is more than just the story of Sarah's injury and steps to recovery. There's the underlying story of the neglect she experienced growing up with a mother who was overwhelmed by depression and grief following the accidental drowning of Sarah's young brother. As she faces her rehabilitation and her future, she also begins to face her relationship with her mother and the dawning realization that her own family has been left neglected because of the lifestyle she and her husband Rob have chosen. LEFT NEGLECTED is not all doom and gloom. Ms. Genova has injected a sense of humor into her characters' dialog that makes the story easier to read and thoroughly enjoyable despite the dark subject matter. Lynn Kimmerle
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lisa Genova is great with writing novels like these, where people have their regular life taken away in an instant due to a mental health condition. This book made me realize that we can all end up this way if we take life for granted. This theme ran throughout the book. Especially when we see the trouble the protagonist has even trying to get across the room and how taking time from her demanding job due to her injury was unfortunately the only way she learned how to enjoy peaceful family time. So worth getting!!
Massagetherapist3 More than 1 year ago
This book was such a great read. I had a hard time putting it down. It really shows the struggles of traumatic brain injuries. I have a family member with one and it was interesting to understand where she is coming from. This book had me laughing, crying, and feeling great! I highly reccomend it!
Sarah Parmer More than 1 year ago
I thought Still Alice was good, but this book is phenomenal! I literally could not put it down. Both educating and inspiring, Left Neglected is an absolute must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While getting to know these characters, I found myself learning and getting deeper into the story! If you are a mom you must read this! If you work you must read this.....life goes on and this character is so easy to relate to! Sit down and learn! What a wonderful book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Left Neglected was different, interesting and well written. While the characters were relatable they were also a peek into a difficult situation that few have experiaanced. Truly an exciting literally experiance.
sherri brewer More than 1 year ago
This book makes one rethink the priorities in life, work, and family. Witty and so well written that it was difficult to put down. This happens to be the very first book that I have read on my nook. I am now going to read her first novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down once I started it, except to be with family during the holidays, and even read most of it to my husband while we were driving between Illinois and Colorado after Christmas. We both enjoyed it! My husband could relate on a lesser degree to some of Sarah's feelings and dilemmas due to a much less severe brain injury he suffered in a motorcycle accident that almost took his life 6 years ago, even though he was wearing an excellent helmet at the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't think I've ever cared so deeply about a character! Great story, beautifully writen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the story and can't imagine that it is true. It was an amazing journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FASCINATING!!! Can't imagine having this type of disorder. And finally, what an 'awakening' from the lady...instead of flight, she chose fight! Kudos!!!
aimlyss More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone. In fact, I'm going to suggest it to my book club. Left Neglected (clever title) is about a woman that suffered a traumatic brain injury and wakes up with a condition called Left Neglect. She doesn't respond or see anything on her left. There is a passage in the book that summed up what she was going through and how it felt, it made me "get" it. Sarah's husband was urging her to "look left" and she asks him to describe the room to her, which he does. Then she asks him, "Okay, now what if I told you that everything you see is only half of everything that's really here? What if I told you to turn your head and look at the other half? Where would you look?" Definitely one of my favorite books of 2011 and so far this year. Read it, you won't be disappointed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Page turner! Interesting psychological issue and about the strength of getting through it. Inspiring! You dont read many books like this.
The_hibernators More than 1 year ago
Sarah Nickerson is a type-A mother-of-three who is living the expensive, busy life of Big Business in Boston. Although Sarah always talks on the phone while driving, THIS time she has a terrible accident and ends up with a brain injury. With Left Neglect, Sarah is unaware of the left sides of everything (including herself). With this new disability, she must pick up the pieces of her shattered life-in the process she reconnects with her family. This book was fantastic in a variety of ways. It describes a fascinating neurological condition (Left Neglect) while enveloping the reader in a bittersweet story about family, identity, and disability. Definitely worth reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first heard about this book, I thought the story line of a working mom recovering from a traumatic brain injury sounded interesting. Then I saw the author was a neuroscientist and was afraid it might have too much medical technology that would take away from the story. Obviously, I decided to give it a try anyway and am very glad I did. The story is very well written and will make you both laugh and cry. It is also an eye opener as well into the effects of “Left Neglect”, which is something I had never quite heard of before. If I hadn’t known of the author’s background, I would have thought the symptoms and hurdles within the story were fictional and overly creative. Instead, you find them believable and even more interesting. You want to be there to cheer on any little improvement and be there to pick her up when she falls. This book is far from what I consider to be “chick lit” but I do think female readers will enjoy it more, especially working moms.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book really made me think about how I live my life causing me to take a hard look at what's important and what may not be.
PagesofComfort 3 months ago
For those of you who follow or have read posts on my blog, you probably know that I'm a big fan of Lisa Genova's work. I really loved Still Alice and Inside the O'Briens was another great work as well. I knew when I saw this one on the shelf that I had to grab a copy. I love how she takes this very real, very scary disorder, and creates a captivating book. I love learning about these disorders, but it also makes me very sad for those that have to endure these difficulties. I can't imagine not being able to see or use anything on the left (or right) side of your body. It's a crazy concept to me and I've never heard of anything like it. The characters in this book are really sympathetic too. All Sarah wants is to go back to her normal life that she's used to. But after the accident, she has to learn that she can't pick up where she left off. It's sad to watch her struggle through the daily tasks of walking, eating everything on her plate, using both hands, etc. And her husband is really great to her. Sure, they struggle with her new disorder and it's something they both have to cope with, but he does everything he can to make things easier, including covering their house with florescent tape to help her see things easier. The title of this book is very creative and the storyline is incredibly original. If you're looking good medical-type book, this is one I'd recommend. If you're not sure about the medical language and aspects of the book, don't let it scare you away! It's truly a good book and very eye-opening.
Anonymous 5 months ago
It wasn't what I thought it was going to be about.it was OK.it was a page turner.second book I've read of hers.
AynGee476 More than 1 year ago
This book presents interesting biological information about an issue that we should all be aware of: the risk for stroke. The story is absorbing and follows a realistic plot in which we learn the implications of the impact and recovery from this devastating illness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story, well written, and the author did her homework on fact checking. Well worth the read!
PegGlover More than 1 year ago
Left Neglected is a brilliant and meticulously crafted novel by Lisa Genova. The protagonist, Sarah Nickerson, is a 37-year-old wife, mother and career woman, who suddenly finds that her fast-paced  lifestyle has come to an abrupt halt. Her life changed the instant her SUV crashed; causing her to sustain a brain injury called Left Neglect. This brain injury affected Sarah’s ability to see anything to her left,  including the left side of her own body. Sarah relinquished control to her caregivers and accepted their help when she found herself on the floor because she couldn’t find her left foot or hand to keep herself from falling. Sarah was completely humiliated. She had always been an independent person. She had to be because her mother all but abandoned her when she was a young child. So when Sarah found out that her husband had called her estranged mother for help, she was livid. But what could Sarah do? She couldn’t walk, cut her meat or even find her own children, if they happened to wander off to her left side. Although Sarah loved her children, she found it painful to watch her mother care for them the way she was never cared for. But as the months passed Sarah appreciated her mother’s help more. The attention she received from her mother became a soothing balm instead of an embarrassment. For the first time in many years, Sarah found that she was able to enjoy her mother’s company – something she thought would never be possible. Left Neglected is a meaningful and thought-provoking book. Although the book deals with serious subjects such as abandonment, dependence and rehabilitation, it’s not a depressing book. Left Neglected is actually a very funny read, filled with witty dialogue and laugh-out-loud situations. One of my favorite scenes is when Sarah’s left hand begins to take on a life of its own, moving in ways that she has no awareness of. Left Neglected is painted with so many vivid and accurate details, that it reads like a true story. The book is told entirely from Sarah Nickerson’s point of view so that the reader becomes intimately acquainted with each struggle and success that Sarah experiences. Lisa Genova is an author and neuroscientist. She does an extraordinary job breaking down complex brain conditions, such as Left Neglect, into clear, understandable pieces for the reader. She then crafts these individual parts into a story that is not only realistic, but compelling. I highly recommend giving this book a read, along with her other books, Still Alice and Love Anthony. Lisa Genova is truly  a talented author and one not to be missed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago