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Left Neglected (Wheeler Hardcover) Hardcover – Large Print, January 26, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 910 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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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From Booklist

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Wheeler Hardcover
  • Hardcover: 498 pages
  • Publisher: Wheeler Publishing; Lrg edition (January 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141043382X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410433824
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (910 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,647,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joan C. Goodrow on January 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Beautifully written, Genova takes us into the hurried and harried lives of a young family who seem to have it all or do they? Running in all directions,jobs, daycare, after school activites,you know the drill. Traveling in her car Sarah looks away from the road for one split second, shes doing the one thing that so many of us have become guilty of in this high tech over connected world we live in,texting while driving. In that split second of inattention Sarah's world change's forever.
The aftermath of the accident leaves Sarah with a traumatic brain injury know as left brain neglect. For the individual who suffers this devestating brain insult it is beyond all comprehension, because to Sarah the left side of her body ceases to exsist.
I found this book to be truly fascinating as Ms. Genova has the uncanny ability to get inside Sarah's head and describes this injury from her point of view, so that you truly understand what she is feeling. It's an amazing gift and I believe made this book a most rewarding read.
It is also a true cautionary story, one blink of an eye life can change forever and things can never be the same, we all get this, but this book reminds us quite vividly just how devestating the consquences can be.
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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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Format: Hardcover
I looked forward to reading this book, since it came highly reviewed. However, I found myself put off by the author's unimaginative writing. The dream sequences at the beginning of the novel are intriguing, but the rest of the book gave only a surface telling of one woman dealing with the condition called Left Neglect. The main character is supposed to be a high powered business woman with a Harvard degree, but she lacks emotional depth of any kind. Her internal dialogue makes her seem shallow--consequently, I was unable to empathize with the character. The author seemed more in tune with the material trappings of the character's world--her wardrobe of high-heeled shoes and coffee machines and diamond jewelry--than she did with the reflexivity that is bound to occur when one's life has been completely dismantled. At various points, the character's behavior and emotional struggles seem juvenile. So, overall, I'd say this is a readable story about an interesting topic, but not compelling in any literary sense.
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Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading Left Neglected (which was wonderfully on my new Kindle yesterday morning!) and really, really liked it. The left neglect condition is fascinating to me even though I luckily cannot quite fathom it. The story was engrossing even beyond the traumatic brain injury, with the description of Sarah's life pre and post accident. I got stressed just reading about her life! I think that this would be a fascinating book club book, particularly if there is a mix of career and stay at home moms.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wanted to love this boo but it just didn't happen. As someone with left neglect, although not as bad as the book's main character, I would say that the portrayal is unrealistic.

Firstly, Sarah must have been in the worst rehab hospital in the country. When I was in rehad they had an alarm on my bed and on my wheelchair to make sure I didn't get up without professional supervision. Even using the bathroom required someone to go with me, door open. Sometimes this was a man, which was embarrassing, but hey, there is no privacy when you're in the hospital. When I started walking, my therapist always used a support belt on me until they were sure I was stable enough to walk on my own. I NEVER fell down. They NEVER let me walk into things. THey NEVER left me alone in the therapy room/gym.

Also, why wasn't her head bandaged after surgery? The test they gave her to see if she was blind would not have proved that she wasn't blind to the left (left homonymous hemianopsia, which I have). In either case, the finger would have disappeared as soon as it went to the left of the midpoint. Why didn't she complain or mention the extreme pain after brain surgery? I had a brain hemorrhage which is probably not as painful as being in a car crash since you would probably have other injuries. Brain surgery is the most painful thing I can even imagine, and I really try not to remember it. But I did have a double crainiotomy so maybe mine was more painful than average.

She doesn't mention running into walls, doors, people, whatever except at the beginning. This is something I deal with everyday. When she lost Linus, she was able to "run" down the sidewalk without running into anyone, something I can't imagine.
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