11 August 2011

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

Character Development          4
Editing                                     5
Sex                                          0
Violence                                  0
Romance                                 5
Readability/Flow                    5

From the front cover: "Remember how you couldn't put down Still Alice? Well, clear your schedule - because you're going to feel the same way." Jodi Picoult. True words!!

Some of you will know that 'Still Alice' is one of my Top 63. (Truth be told, it is more like one of my top 5.) So when I found out that Lisa Genova had written a second book I raced to put it on hold at my local library. Best move I've made in a while.

In our materialistic, rat race society full of two income professionals and 2.5 children, sometimes priorities get skewed. This is definitely the case for Sarah and Bob and their 'Charlie Brown' children. (The kids are Charlie, Lucy and Linus - don't get me started!) Between both parents working 60+ hours per week, kids in school and daycare, dance lessons, sports, homework and a nanny that can only work part-time, the Nickerson family is a case study in scheduling and organization. Then Charlie's teacher suggests he may have ADHD - and Sarah needs to make a phone call ... on her cell ... while she is driving ... (Quick aside here to vent about one of my pet peeves - DO NOT TEXT OR USE CELL PHONES WHEN DRIVING!!! PLEASE!!) Eight days later Sarah wakes up in the hospital. It soon becomes obvious that her brain has forgotten there is such a thing as "left". No left side of her plate, no left side of the room, no left side of her body, no "left".

Despite all the difficulties of rehab and learning to live with a disability, I loved that Sarah was able to find the humour in some of the situations that arose. In all that she lost, she never lost the ability to laugh at herself. Sure, there was the occasional pity-party (well deserved, I'd say) but Sarah's indomitable spirit and desire to succeed won out.

The only character I felt sorry for in this novel was Bob. He had such a load to carry and got virtually no attention or help. His support of Sarah was astounding. I would have liked to know him better.

My "Top 63" has just become my "Top 64" My advice to you - if you liked 'Still Alice', read 'Left Neglected'!


  1. This sounds like an awesome book. Good review!

  2. This one sounds so interesting. It's not usually my type but I'm interested to know more.

  3. Still Alice is in my top 5 also. I enjoyed this one and loved the character Sarah. It may not be as memorable as Still Alice but definitely a must read.

  4. Hi Dana,

    Thanks so much for reading LEFT NEGLECTED and for taking the time to post such a great review of it at your blog! I'm so glad you enjoyed it (and STILL ALICE)--and that both books made your Top 64!

    Best wishes,
    Lisa Genova

  5. I think I could enjoy this one.

    And I like that new rating scale :D

  6. I haven't read Still Alice yet but I have a copy here and hope too soon. It sounds as if I'll be adding Left Neglected, too! WHat a fantastic character Sarah is. I love that she finds humor in her situation and that means the book is funny in spots...other than the 'Charlie Brown' children!
    Thank you for a terrific review and a book to add to my tbr!

  7. Okay. I'm convinced. I'll read it. Thanks.

  8. Thanks everyone for commenting! I love to hear from you all - and especially thanks to Lisa. You made my year!!

  9. Hey Dana,

    Just wanted to stop by with a friendly hello, and thanks for stopping by my blog, glad the post got you interested. Left Neglected looks like a great read.

    Happy Reading!

    Felicia @ Livin' Life Through Books

  10. This sounds so good! I will have to go pick it up.
    I'm a new follower
    Check out my blog http://thenovelstudent.blogspot.com

  11. I loved this book! I kept thinking about how I would respond to not knowing what was going on with the left side of my body. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry - so I did both - when she is sitting there holding her boob and not aware she is doing it! I am now reading Still Alice and it is as beautifully writeen

  12. Ruth ... I still laugh when I think of that part. and when she is in the bathroom with hubby. Still Alice is still my favorite, though.


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