Wednesday, May 25

Book Review: Left Neglected

Title: Left Neglected

Author: Lisa Genova

Pages: 322

Summary: Sarah Nickerson is like any other career-driven supermom in Welmont, the affluent Boston suburb where she leads a hectic but charmed life with her husband Bob, faithful nanny, and three children - Lucy, Charlie, and nine-month-old Linus.

Between recruiting the best and brightest minds as the vice president of human resources t Berkley Consulting; shuttling the kids to soccer, day care, and piano lessons; convincing her son's teacher that he may not, in fact, have ADD; and making it home in time for dinner, it's a wonder this over-scheduled, over-achieving Harvard graduate has time to breathe.

A self-confessed balloon that is about to burst, Sarah miraculously manages every minute of her life n air traffic controller. Until one fateful day, while driving to work and trying to make a phone call, she looks away from the road one second to long. In the blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her jam packed life come to a screeching halt.

A traumatic brain injury completely erases the left side of her world, and for once, Sarah must pay close attention to the details surrounding her, including her formerly absent mother. Without n awareness of the food on the left side of her plate or even her own left hand, she is forced to search for answers in the void of this strange hemi-world - both about the past and her uncertain future.

Now, as she wills herself to regain her independence and heal, Sarah must learn that her real destiny - her new, true life - may lie far from the world of conference calls and spreadsheets. And that a happiness and peace greater than all of the success in the world s close within reach, if only she slows down long enough to notice.

My Rating: 7.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was a very well written, well told book. At times it was powerful on how a person copes with not only a traumatic brain injury, but re-discovering herself, and rebuilding the relationship with her mother. It ended up being a good book for me.

The book did start off slow, and in the first part of the book, I really hated Sarah's character, I'm all for the mom who does everything, her personality to her life and family bothered me. I loved the idea of the career-woman-mom, but she always made it sound like parenthood was a chore, and something not worth her time in her busy schedule. I did enjoy how she grew in the book. The author did do a fantastic job, with all of her characters and their development. I didn't necessarily connect to them, and I didn't have a favourite, but she did a do a good job with their development.

I also liked the overall story and the journey through recovering and coping with a traumatic brain injury. I can't even fathom what something like that must be like to go through, and the author did a good job at invoking the emotion of it. I'm undecided if I liked the lighter tone though. I thought it be a more emotional, serious book. But it was written in a lighter tone, with more humour side, she doesn't take away from the serious, and it's not a laugh-out-loud book, bt just written with a lighter tone. I was hoping for a more serious book, but I still enjoyed what I got.

Overall, a wonderful well written novel, well worth reading.

Would I recommend it to read: I would. It was a great book, well written and told. I may not have enjoyed the character as much as I liked, I think there are a lot of readers out there who would enjoy and connect to the character. Nonetheless it's a well told story, well worth reading.

What to read next: Turtle Valley. I haven't read it yet, but it looks like there are some similar themes.

Challenges: 11 in 11, 100+ Challenge, 2011 Countdown Challenge, A - Z Challenge, New Author Challenge, Spring Reading Thing


  1. I have been wanting to read this book, and find your observations on how Sarah feels about motherhood to be fascinating and insightful. It seems as if this is something I should pick up. Fantastic review, Jules!

  2. Have you read Genova's Still Alice? I just read that recently and quite liked it, but am unsure about reading another traumatic brain novel. :)

  3. Zibilee - It's a good read in the end, I hope you get a chance to read it soon, I'll keep an eye out on your review.

    Alison - I haven't, this was my first book by the author, I wonder how it compares?

  4. Well, from your description it sounds pretty much the same... Still Alice is about a Harvard graduate/now Harvard professor who develops early-onset Alzheimer's and has to deal not just with her increasing forgetfulness and moodiness but with a family that doesn't quite understand how to deal with her. It's told in the first person and it's pretty intense; my book group is now full of people who get very worried every time they forget something!

  5. Allison - they do sound very similar. But she does seem to write some very powerful books. But I think I;ll wait a while before I pick the book up.