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 at 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 about to burst, Sarah miraculously manages every minute of her life like an air traffic controller. Until one fateful day, while driving to work and trying to make a phone call, she looks away from the road for one second too 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 relinquishes control to those around her, including her formerly absent mother. Without the ability to even floss her own teeth, she struggles to find answers about her 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 in fact lie far from the world of conference calls and spreadsheets. And that a happiness and peace greater than all the success in the world is close within reach, if only she slows down long enough to notice.
Lisa Genova creates another beautifully written book. It is difficult not to make comparisons between this book and Still Alice (one of my favourite books). Although, I preferred Still Alice, Left Neglected is a very interesting story and makes you think twice about grabbing that cell phone while driving. A split second of inattentiveness could lead you to disaster.
I found the left neglect condition fascinating and Lisa Genova really brought it to life and is a master at taking complex medical conditions and making them something we can relate to and imagine.
The book is about a young family whose children are involved in many activities and the parents are extremely career driven, working 80 hours per week. They are juggling many balls in the air when, in a split second, everything comes crashing down. Sarah is always multi-tasking and while on her commute, she searches for her phone and during the split second of inattentiveness, her car goes off the road and she is lucky to survive the accident.
The aftermath of the accident leaves Sarah with a traumatic brain injury known as left brain neglect. For the individual who suffers this devastating brain insult it is beyond all comprehension, because to Sarah the left side of her body ceases to exsist. She has to keep reminding herself to "Look Left".
It was a fascinating book and one that I would recommend.
Rating 4 out of 5