I still got some books I read in December that I didn’t write a review for. One of them is Left Neglected by Lisa Genova. I found it in a local bookstore that sometimes has great bargains and I thought “Wow, this book sounds like a must-read.” So here’s what I’ve got to say about it.
Summary provided by Simon & Schuster¹:
One typical morning, Sarah Nickerson, a woman in her mid-thirties, is late for work, racing in her car after dropping her kids off at school and daycare. She tries to phone in to a meeting she should already be at when she takes her eye off the road for a second too long. In that blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her over-scheduled life come to a screeching halt.
Sarah suffers a traumatic head injury. Her memory and intellect are intact, but she has lost all interest in, and the ability to perceive, information coming from the left side of space. The left side of her world has gone. Sarah only eats the food from the right side of her plate. She can’t see her watch, or her engagement diamond or her wedding ring. She tries to use a wheel chair but can only spin in circles as her left arm dangles by her side.
Set in present-day Boston and Vermont, Left Neglected leads you into the world of a business woman who only perceives the right side of everything, including herself. I think it is quite challenging for an author to make the reader see through such a person’s eyes, but Ms. Genova succeeded. In my mind, I was constantly trying to look beyond that grayish area to see that left hand, or that ring, let alone that watch to read the time.
Sarah, the main character of the book, is a business woman and as you can imagine, she is struggling hard to cope with her new situation. I never doubted this character for a second and understood her trains of thought, her fears and her decisions. There are other important characters in Left Neglected, but telling you about them would be a spoiler. They each have their own little story to tell.
As I already knew that an accident was about to happen, I was rushing through the first couple of chapters to finally get there. I’m really impatient when it comes to things like that. So I perceived the beginning of Left Neglected as a little too slow. But from the accident onwards, I was spellbound and didn’t want to stop reading. I actually read the book within two days. I can fully recommend this gripping and moving story to anyone who needs a timeout, wants to broaden their horizon, or just wants to read a good book.