Left Neglected

Thoughts    Left Neglected by Lisa Genova,2011 by Gallery Books, 322 pages

MOTIVATION for READING this now: I loved Still Alice, Genova’s debut and am fascinated by the brain, so OF COURSE, I wanted to read this. When I told my neighbor she should read Still Alice, and she did; she then purchased Left Neglected, read it, loved it, gave it to me. Boy was that an awkward sentence…   Anyway, if you saw my previous post, you know that I put three books on the floor — all books I want to read NOW and let my puppy pick.  She chose this.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  An ambitious high-striving career woman with three kids and a husband just as driven as she is finds herself a survivor of a scary car crash.  However.  Her bump to the head has left her with a condition called ‘Left Neglect’.  This story of her challenges to understand what is going on with her brain and how/if she manages to recover and move on.  I cried.  You know I cried!    sniff, sniff.

WHAT’s GOOD:    Genova really gets into the heads of her protagonists.  Told in first-person account, this book gives the reader w a real sense of what is important to — crap!  I already forgot her name!   Sarah, I think.  (huh.) —  Where was I?  She is driven, has extreme type A personality traits, loves her kids and is exhausted trying to keep all the balls in the air.  She finds out the painful way which balls are glass and thus shouldn’t be dropped and which balls are allowed to drop and (maybe) bounce.   This book is easy to read and yet delivers understandable information on a medical condition that is not well-known.   Genova excels at doing her research and seamlessly weaving it into the story without bogging it down in details.   I also loved the Boston setting even if I can barely state that I am Boston-knowledgeable.   Perhaps it was because I recently drove from Boston College to Copley Square (and parked at the Prudential Bldg Shopping Complex!) and also had a friend spend some time at Spaulding Rehab Hospital which is where Genova researched the therapy for Left-Neglect.

WHAT’s NOT so good:   Minor, very picky minor issue?   I suppose that it could be classified as a “wrong-headed person gets attitude-adjustment” kind of story but that’s OK.  It is well-written and entertainingly educates on fascinating science-y stuff.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I will gladly read any more books published by Lisa Genova.   She’s very nice in person, too.   I got to meet her at a Still Alice book event in Chatham Mass.

RATING:   Four slices of pie!   Something Vermont-related:  perhaps Blueberry with Maple Syrup?  and lots of whipped cream.

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Copyright © 2007-2011. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

7 thoughts on “Left Neglected

  1. I liked this one too – maybe not as much as you, but it was still good. I kept comparing it to Still Alice, and how the latter was absolutely wonderful, so I was bothered by some stuff in this book. I will still happily read more Genova.

  2. I gave away my ARC of Still Alice because I wasn’t in the mood to read about mothers going downhill, at the time (having just lost my mother) but Left Neglected does appeal to me. And, I just happen to have a copy. 🙂 So glad you only had one minor complaint. I guess Esther chose well!

  3. I’ve had this one on the shelf for a while but got kind of nervous about reading something that might be too heavy on the science. Sounds like I can get over that fear. Must read more and get to this soon!

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