Left Neglected

We hope everyone had a relaxing Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada. Our latest post is a book review from Charlotte.  Enjoy!

Since I like to read a lot, I have another book to recommend to you all.  Left neglected is the story of Sarah Nickerson and her high power life which is suddenly turned upside down following a car accident.left neglected

The title of the story refers to “left neglect”, a condition that affects the right side of the brain, following a stroke, aneurysm, or brain injury.  It causes the person to essentially “neglect” everything on their left side.  They are unable to perceive anything on the left side of their body, from arms and legs to facial expressions.  The author, Lisa Genova, has a PhD in neuroscience which is really put to good use in explaining the intricacies of dealing with life after such a traumatic event.

Sarah Nickerson has the life she always wanted.  She climbed her way up the corporate ladder to become VP of human resources at her dream company.  She has her loving husband Bob and three young children, 7-year old Charlie, 5-year old Lucy, and 9-month old Linus.  They live in the ideal suburb of Boston in their dream home with a second home on a ski resort a few hours away – Sarah is living in what she thinks is her perfect world…until one rainy morning her life is put on hold.

While driving to work, Sarah thinks she can get a few calls out of the way and have time at work to do other things.  It was rainy on the highway and Sarah reaches into her purse to look for her cell phone and all of a sudden she’s off the road and her car is upside down.  She wakes up in the hospital and doesn’t remember a thing.  Sarah thinks that she’s fine and should be discharged right away, until she realizes she can’t feel her left arm or left leg.  She can’t see anything on the left side of her, it’s like the left side doesn’t exist in her world anymore.

Her estranged mother steps in to become her caregiver as well as her children’s.  Sarah has always had hard feelings towards her mother and hates the idea that she has to take care of her now.  Sarah doesn’t want her help, she just wants to get back to her life again.  Sarah’s stubbornness is eventually defeated by the fact that she can barely walk to the washroom by herself, let alone hold her baby or send 50 emails an hour while talking on the phone.

Her road to recovery is a slow one which frustrates Sarah to no end.  She does not want to accept that she may not be able to go back to her old job or her old lifestyle.  Through the recovery process Sarah begins to reconcile with her mother which helps her to accept that she may never be the same as she was before her accident.  As Sarah becomes more accepting to the fact that she may not fully recover, she realizes that she needs to change the way she was living her life.  Maybe she would make less money, but she would have more time for the important things in life, like her family and friends.

Although this story is fiction, the whole time I was reading it I felt like it was based on a true story.  The characters are all so well developed that I became attached to them by the end of the novel.  I highly recommend this book for all so get reading!


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