Monday, April 18, 2011

Left Neglected - Lisa Genova

This book took me by surprise.  I don't know why, but for some reason, I thought the book was about "someone" being neglected.

I read this book cover to cover within 24 hours.  I became intrigued by "left neglect", which is a neurological syndrome, caused by damage to the brain,  whereby a person is unable to perceive anything to the left ie. her leg, arm, people and objects to the left.  I had no idea this condition exists.

The main character of this novel is Sarah Nickerson, a multi-tasker with a demanding career and family with 3 children.   One rainy November morning there's a car accident and a brain injury leaves Sarah with "left neglect".  She is not aware of anything on her left side.  She can hear her husband's voice in the room, but can't see him, as he's on her left side.  She knows she has a left leg and arm but can't see them.  She looks at her dinner tray, but can't see the chocolate bar on the left side of the tray.  Sarah has to "re-train" her brain in an attempt to recognize and acknowledge her left side, and this is not an easy task.

This book is beautifully written.  I didn't want to put the book down, as I felt that Sarah was real and I wanted to know how her story.  It's a book I won't forget.

"Left Neglected" also reminds us of how precious our lives are and  that many of us are on a high speed train that needs to slow down so we can enjoy the scenery along the way.

1 comment:

  1. Same author as 'Still Alice'. She is a neuroscientist so what she is writing is based on fact & case histories. Left Neglected sounds like a great read - will have to get to that one this summer, too.

    Great pick for the book club tonight, and interesting discussion, as always. Thanks for organizing the evening!