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Left Neglected [Hardcover]

Lisa Genova
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 4 2011
Sarah Nickerson is like any other career-driven supermom in Welmont, the affluent Boston suburb where she leads a hectic but charmed life with her husband Bob, faithful nanny, and three children—Lucy, Charlie, and nine-month-old Linus. 

Between recruiting the best and brightest minds as the vice president of human resources at Berkley Consulting; shuttling the kids to soccer, day care, and piano lessons; convincing her son’s teacher that he may not, in fact, have ADD; and making it home in time for dinner, it’s a wonder this over-scheduled, over-achieving Harvard graduate has time to breathe.

 A self-confessed balloon about to burst, Sarah miraculously manages every minute of her life like an air traffic controller. Until one fateful day, while driving to work and trying to make a phone call, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In the blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her jam-packed life come to a screeching halt.   

A traumatic brain injury completely erases the left side of her world, and for once, Sarah relinquishes control to those around her, including her formerly absent mother. Without the ability to even floss her own teeth, she struggles to find answers about her past and her uncertain future. 

Now, as she wills herself to regain her independence and heal, Sarah must learn that her real destiny—her new, true life—may in fact lie far from the world of conference calls and spreadsheets. And that a happiness and peace greater than all the success in the world is close within reach, if only she slows down long enough to notice.


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Review

“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

About the Author

Lisa Genova is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Left Neglected and Still Alice. She graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard University. She travels worldwide, speaking about the causes, treatments, ways to prevent, and what it feels like to live with Alzheimer’s Disease. She has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, The Diane Rehm Show, CNN, Chronicle, Fox News, and Canada AM and is featured in the documentary film, To Not Fade Away. She lives with her husband and three children in Cape Cod.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift card worthy Jan. 4 2011
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Are you looking for a book worthy of spending your Christmas gift card on? I've got one for you.

Lisa Genova had a New York Times bestseller with her first novel Still Alice. I know she's got another bestseller on her hands with her latest book Left Neglected - releasing Jan 4/11.

Sarah Nickerson has it all and can do it all. Can't she? High powered job - minimum of 80 hours a week, gorgeous house in a sought after neighbourhood, vacation home in Vermont, 3 children and a devoted husband. The one thing she doesn't seem to have though, is enough time.

She can't make it to every soccer game and is sure that the other parents think that "Mothers who miss the games, like me, are bad mothers." "I love my children and know they're important, but so is my career and the life that career affords us." And her love life...well..."It's our typical morning good-bye kiss. A quick peck. A well-intentioned habit....It's a routine kiss, but I'm glad we do it. It does mean something. It's enough. And it's all we have time for."

You get the picture. It is while trying to multitask - driving while talking on the cell phone - that Sarah's world is turned upside down. She gets into a horrific crash - one that leaves her with a traumatic brain injury. She is unaware of the left side of anything, including herself. And yes, the condition is real.

Unable to work, dependent on others and forced to accept that her life will never be quite the same, Sarah must reexamine her life, her priorities and her relationships - the things in her life that have been 'left neglected.' I found the rekindling of the relationship with her mother especially poignant.

Although the subject matter is serious, Genova handles it with candor and humour.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Eye-Opener....A Wake-Up Call!! Jan. 31 2011
By Louise Jolly TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Sarah Nickerson lives in the affluent Boston suburb of Welmont where she leads an extremely busy and hectic life. Along with her husband Bob and their three children: Lucy, Charlie and baby Linus, they don't have much time for family togetherness. Sarah is Vice-President of Human Resources at a large firm in Boston and Bob's job is facing many lay-offs and he's hoping he's not next. Without both their incomes they wouldn't be able to continue living in the affluent neighbourhood that they do now.

One day while driving to work, in a hurry as usual and about to be late for an important meeting, Sarah begins talking and texting on her phone and takes her eyes off the road for just a second too long. She rolls her SUV and crashes!

Sarah wakes up in the hospital and discovers she's already been there for eight days and the news about her injuries are not good. Sarah as a traumatic brain injury called Left Neglect which is also known as unilateral neglect and hemispatial neglect and is a real neurological syndrome that occurs due to damage to the right hemisphere of the brain. People with Left Neglect aren't blind but their brains ignore information on the left side of the world, often including the left side of their own bodies. Sarah has to learn to re-walk, feed herself, read, and do all the activities of daily living that we take for granted.

Although the story is fictional, the Left Neglect is REAL! There are more people than you and I know that have been afflicted with this type of brain injury. Could you imagine waking up every morning and not being aware that you have a left hand, a left arm, a left leg, that there are words on the left side of the page you can't see or your brain doesn't register? Can you imagine how frustrating that would be?
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another home run! Jan. 14 2011
Format:Hardcover
Yet another unbelievable story from Lisa Genova. I devoured Still Alice and was even more taken with Left Neglected.
A wonderful story including family values, re-establishment of priorities and a reminder not to take life for granted.
I recommend Still Alice to everyone, even strangers. I will be adding Left Neglected to that list as well.
A very good read, easy and so addictive!
You won't regret this buy, it is well worth it.
The only thing that disappoints me is that I downloaded it to my e-reader and won't be able to share it with others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where is that left hand? March 1 2012
By Dorothyanne Brown TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The brain is an amazing thing - in both good and bad ways. As a person with MS, I'm acutely aware of its trickster behaviour. Lisa Genova's book describes one such brain trick - that of the brain wilfully deciding not to see anything on the left side. Well, that's not quite right - the brain does see it - it just refuses to share that information with the conscious mind.
It's a fascinating disorder, and I found myself wanting to study it more after reading this book - wondering how much of the disorder is physical, how much is psychiatric.
Still, I found it hard to relate to the main character at all. And that's a loss. This story could be much more effective if there was, indeed, anything to like about her.
She causes the injury that disables her by digging for her phone while driving, something she does routinely, endangering everyone else on the road. Fortunately, she just hurts herself, one assumes. No one else is mentioned. Her husband continues to text while driving...no growth of awareness there.
She and her husband spend their time in the rapid-paced craziness that is thought of as appropriate modern American life, working so hard to make money they never get a chance to see their children or enjoy their second house in Vermont, or make love or even speak to each other. She is a HR manager for a company of business consultants, one of the most ridiculous parasitic employments available today. When she can't work for a few days she of course assumes they cannot manage without her - however, there is no discussion of any growth related to any realization that her life is different now, and yes, we are all replaceable.
She hates her mother but must be dependent upon her - again, an interesting issue to describe growth - but it is glanced over.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The voice of the first person narrator makes this novel a winner.
Other reviewers, as well as the publisher's synopsis, did a thorough job explaining the plot of the story. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Joanna
5.0 out of 5 stars Another awesome read!!!
Once again Lisa Genova doesn't leave you disappointed! Wonderful novel! Warning once you open it and begin reading you won't be able to put it down!!
Published 16 days ago by Penny Schoonbaert
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
It's amazing what damage a mistake in judgement, such as multi-tasking and driving
can do.

A little predictable at times but over all a very interesting subject
Published 1 month ago by G O'Neill
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review of, "Left Neglected"
This author has created a heart-warming tale of how protagonist, Sarah, faces emotional and physical challenges after a car accident leaves her with a serious brain injury. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Donna Warner
2.0 out of 5 stars I live with it daily
I have an ABI and a left deficit that once was neglect. I live with it every day and I don't think this book truly described it well. Made the recovery after an ABI seem short. Read more
Published 2 months ago by raebrister
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant writing!
I was absorbed throughout the book. Exceptional, believeable, writing that kept me entertained until the very last page. Read more
Published 3 months ago by SMH
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
I liked this book the story was very interesting. I work in health care and have never heard of this. Sometimes I felt it got a little slow moving.
Published 4 months ago by Dorothy
5.0 out of 5 stars cell phones while driving
Lisa, in the last chapters of the book, you reprimanded your husband for using the cell phone while driving and "bragging" about how you used to juggle the phone and your... Read more
Published 4 months ago by deb Langton
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't stop reading this author
Lisa Genova is a fantastic writer, anyone who likes authors like Joy Fielding or Jodi Picoult will love Lisa Genova - well researched, high quality writing that you can't put... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Cecily Bengert
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
A good reminder for those of us who don't stop to smell the roses. This Book was hard to put dowm
Published 7 months ago by Deborah Moore
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