Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Left Neglected

Left Neglected
By Lisa Genova
Gallery, 2011. 327 pages. Fiction

Sarah Nickerson is a 37-year-old overachieving multitasker with a Harvard MBA. Her life is stretched thin between parenting her three young children, working long hours at her demanding job at a prestigious Boston consulting firm, and worrying about her husband's future at a struggling tech company. 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. After the accident Sarah struggles both to physically recover and to emotionally adapt to her 'new normal'.

The author has a PhD in neuroscience, so the details of Sarah's injury and recovery are poignant and vivid. However, the book manages not to read like a medical case study and is instead a very touching story. At first I had a hard time relating to Sarah because her life and her attitude were very different from mine, but as the book progressed and she changed I really started to empathize with and understand her. I also liked how her injury and recovery helped her reconnect with her mother and with her son.


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