In Left Neglected, Sarah Nickerson is a working mom with a busy schedule and not enough hours in the day. One day, while driving, she momentarily takes her eyes off the road to make a call on her cell phone and gets into a car accident. This accident leaves her with a serious brain injury, known as left neglect. Her brain unable to recognize anything on the left. As she recovers, she sees what she's been missing by being so busy and realizes that her life can go on albeit differently.
I loved this book. It contains a well written story on a timely subject with wonderful characters that will stay with me for a long, long time. It was also a little scary in that something like this could happen to any of us or our loved ones. The story is basically split into two sections: before and after the accident. I knew the accident was going to happen and got a little anxious waiting for it. The part before it might have been a little long, but I really got a sense of Sarah life. The hurried mom with no time whose job is so demanding really came across. I can't imagine looking after a family and working 80+ hours a week. Afterwards, I really appreciated Sarah's attempt to recover what she'd lost before the accident.
I had a hard time wrapping my head around Sarah's affliction of left neglect. I could understand not being able to see to her left or being paralysed on her left side, but this is something else. She can't see the left hand side of anything. Genova did a great job of explaining it, but as I tried to imagine it (or explain it to my husband), I found that I couldn't. It was just too weird. I'm sure that's part of the reason it's hard to treat or cure. There's so much about the brain that remains unknown. Even what is known is sometimes weird and mysterious. Maybe that's I find the subject so fascinating.
If I had a small complaint about the book, it would be that a few of the chapters at the end made the story a little choppy. I would have, perhaps, rearranged a couple of them or tied a few of them together somewhat differently.
This story outlines why driving and using a cell phone is dangerous and why laws like Manitoba's new cell phone law is so important. Maybe this book should be required reading for those who get caught (in addition to a *huge* fine) as well as those who are about to get their driver's licenses.
I've also read Genova's Still Alice (my review). It's a fabulous book.
Highly recommended. I can't wait to see what Genova comes up with next.
For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit Simon & Schuster's website.
For more information about the author, please visit Lisa Genova's website.
I'd like to thank those nice people at Simon & Schuster for this review copy.
Left Neglected by Lisa Genova, Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster), ©2011. ISBN 9781439164631(Advance Reader's Edition), 327p.