Thursday, January 2, 2014

Book Review: Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

I squeezed one more in for 2013. . . 

Sarah Nickerson is a successful business woman, juggling a demanding career along with raising three small children. Life revolves around balancing all of it - working 80+ hours a week while trying to provide for her family - and doing it all in an expedient manner.

The world changes in blink of an eye when Sarah has a car accident that causes brain damage to the right side of her brain, which causes a condition called Left Neglect. Sarah can see what's on the right of her but anything to the left no longer exists, impacting her motor function, vision, and cognitive skills.

Sarah must focus on using her strength and the balancing act that she has implemented so well to find a new way to make things work. While Sarah fully expects to just recover within a matter of days, she has to face a new reality and a means to define a new life for herself with new identities and roles.

The story itself is so fascinating although in some ways it was difficult to read because this could truly happen and it is a horrific possibility. While Left Neglect is probably a very rare condition, the image that the author depicts of Sarah's life before the accident is something that most working women who balance a myriad of responsibilities can identify with. While some may see Sarah as a superwoman I also could empathize with her not being truly able to do everything as well as she wanted to and having to cut corners with her family and relationship with her husband.

The author writes this book in an honest and frank way, from the perspective of Sarah who narrates her own story, that really flows well. Sarah is pretty honest about her feelings throughout the book in a very direct way that was fun to read.


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