Thursday, December 8, 2011
Review: Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
Publishing Date: January 4th, 2011
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Pages: 324 pgs
Summary from GoodReads:
Sarah Nickerson, like any other working mom, is busy trying to have it all. One morning while racing to work and distracted by her cell phone, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In that blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her over-scheduled life come to a screeching halt. After a brain injury steals her awareness of everything on her left side, Sarah must retrain her mind to perceive the world as a whole. In so doing, she also learns how to pay attention to the people and parts of her life that matter most.
In this powerful and poignant New York Times bestseller, Lisa Genova explores what can happen when we are forced to change our perception of everything around us. Left Neglected is an unforgettable story about finding abundance in the most difficult of circumstances, learning to pay attention to the details, and nourishing what truly matters.
I picked up this audiobook because I read Genova's debut novel Still Alice and I was blown away by her writing. I have to say that this book was equally as impressive. Left Neglected is about a woman whose life is in constant motion. She is being pulled in different directions by her children, her husband and her job. One day her life is dramatically changed and as a result she is forced to slow down. Sarah gets into a car accident which leaves her with an acquired brain injury. As a result of this injury she suddenly forgets all things left. She forgets her left hand, her left leg, the left side of a page, the left side of a room; basically her brain tells her there is no left side. This means a lot of physical therapy in order to train her brain to remember her left side. I found Genova's description of this brain injury fascinating. It also makes you think about your own life. What is really important in life and what kind of things are we neglecting. Sarah realizes that she was neglecting the things that are really important in life, such as special moments with her children and getting to know her mom, in order to be successful in her career. This book really made me question if I appreciate the little things in life or if I rush past them all to get to the next phase in my life. Why are we always in such a rush to get to the next thing when we aren't even fully experiencing the present? I really enjoyed the audio part of this book. The narrator does a really good job at holding your attention and at expressing the feelings of the characters. I also really liked the relationship between the husband and the wife in this book. It doesn't sugar coat the difficulty that they had trying to adapt to their new situation. Finances were strained and the husband and the wife really had to redefinine their relationship in a way. Overall, I give this book a 5 out of 5 and I have added it to the best books of 2011 pile. I definitely recommend picking it up and if you haven't read Still Alice you should get that while you're at the bookstore.