From 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.)
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First-person narrator Sarah Nickerson is a 37-year-old, overachieving multitasker with a Harvard MBA and a demanding job as vice president of human relations at a Boston consulting firm. Her husband, Bob, works at a struggling tech start-up and shares in the upbringing of their three young children in an affluent suburb. Then there’s a car accident on a rainy November morning, and a traumatic brain injury leaves Sarah with “left neglect,” a lack of awareness of anything to her left, including the left side of her own body. The one person who can help when insurance runs out is Sarah’s mother, Helen, yet their relationship has been rocky ever since Helen was a virtually absentee mother for Sarah after Sarah’s brother, Nate, died in childhood. As Sarah’s struggles parallel those of her 7-year-old son, Charlie, just diagnosed with ADHD, there is healing of body, mind, and mother-daughter relationship and acceptance that “normal is overrated.” Neuroscientist Genova (Still Alice, 2009) once again personalizes an actual disabling brain condition to create irresistibly readable and moving fiction. --Michele Leber