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Left Neglected is easy to latch onto, largely because Paulson projects Sarah Nickerson as endearingly insecure and goofy. By pebbling her pre-car crash, pre-head trauma Sarah voice with urgency and strain, Paulson revs up pacing to mirror the choking rhythms of her character’s hurried schedule. Yet the recovering Sarah is looser and less uncensored as Paulson unknots her anxious cadences in a gradual fade. We relax around this Sarah who cracks pun-laced jokes with her rehab therapists and grieves as deeply for the skinny jeans she can no longer button at the waist, as having to relearn using the bathroom alone.
While Left Neglected is Sarah’s story, Paulson astutely rescues the ensemble players Sarah’s jittery, apologetic mother Helen, and her innately decent husband Bob from the fringes. She pitches Bob as honorable and magnetic in his own right, a cool guy whose empathy eventually collapses into panicked resentment as Sarah’s lost income capsizes the family finances. Helen, on the other hand, begs to be Sarah’s rock, atoning for her indifference the last 30 years. “My life can be fully lived with less,” Sarah observes, well into her healing journey. And for us, too, this reclaimed state of blessedness feels lasting and true. Nita Rao
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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By MissSusie66 on 02-11-11
Another hit for Lisa Genova
Another great book from Lisa Genova, how she gets into these people's minds is just amazing. And how awful it would be to think you have no left side and there is no world on your left, heartbreaking and fascinating all at the same time.
Lisa Genova is an amazing writer because she takes you into the inner workings of a broken mind and makes you understand what they are feeling and going through.
The struggles Sarah goes through I can’t even imagine because who could imagine having left neglect, but you feel for her and struggle with her and cry with her and cheer for her. One thing I liked better in this one than Still Alice was Sarah had a supportive husband, Bob wasn’t perfect but he was there for her through it all. Also to see the relationship with Sarah and her estranged mother develop into what it did was very touching.
I enjoyed this book very much as I said it was fascinating to learn about this kind of brain injury.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By Sandra on 11-06-12
The audio was well done. I enjoyed the way in which Sarah Paulson was able to translate the feelings/state of mind of the main character throughout the story. Left Neglected is interesting and unique. This story reminded me to focus on the important things in life: loved ones and my own happiness. It is well worth a listen.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful