Left Neglected

Left Neglected

by Lisa Genova

Judy Stanton (10/01/11): I have not been able to get the picture of early onset Alzheimers out of my head since reading "Still Alice;" so, I was drawn to read another Lisa Genova book. Having worked in neurology, she unearthed another brain disorder, one not as well recognized, called "left neglect." The main character is a Harvard grad, high achiever, juggling work in a major executive position and two young children, plus shouldering, with her IT specialist husband, the expense of living in an affluent community and having a second home. She is in a car accident, and her brain damage causes her not to be able to recognize or easily control the left side of her body. The story goes on to show how this condition changes her life and that of her family. Somewhat predictably, it takes her off the fast track, to a different lifestyle that, in many ways, is actually better.

I personally related to this book on many levels. Having worked in public relations at Shepherd Center and other hospitals, I have been exposed to many people facing the challenge of a major life disability/illness, and heard and wrote many stories of individuals who actually felt their lives were (amazingly) better for having made that journey. I also was in a traumatic car accident and could relate to her anxieties about getting back to "normal," and having to accept a "new normal." Left neglected was a well written, readable novel, and I would definitely recommend it.
Rating: ****

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