We live in a success driven world that tends to push true happiness and peace on the back burner. We have often heard that a single moment can change our life forever. Yet, until we experience one of these moments, it is hard to relate to that concept. Lisa Genova has incorporated both these issues into a soul-searching novel.
This is the story of Sarah Nickerson, an over achieving, over scheduled super mom. She is married, has 3 kids, and works 80 hours a week in a very demanding job. Therefore every minute of Sarah’s day has a purpose.
One morning, on her way to work Sarah has a tragic accident that turns her whole world upside down. A traumatic brain injury leaves Sarah with a lot of time to evaluate her life—delving into the past, present and what will be her new future.
The author gives her reader a deeply personal view by letting us experience Sarah’s thoughts and inner struggles throughout the story. It makes it so easy to relate to everything she is going through—as a woman, mother, wife, and as a daughter. Your heart breaks for Sarah as she struggles, you cheer her on with each new development, and you laugh as she learns to see the funny side of her disability. The author has a great way of making her character come alive through sarcasm, wit and emotion.
I also liked how the author ran a parallel between Sarah and her son who was dealing with ADD. They both had to learn to live in the “real world” with their disabilities, and each was able to offer the other suggestions on how to work through certain issues. If Sarah hadn’t experienced this brain injury, she probably wouldn’t have been able to relate to her son or help him the way she now could.
Even though Sarah can only see the right half of everything (thus the term “left neglected” is used for her type of brain injury) her inner eye has been opened to see the full picture of her life. Sarah learns that her new life can hold so much more happiness and peace, which her success-driven previous life could never offer.
This was a very inspirational story that makes one reflect on what really matters in life. Lisa Genova has turned a very traumatic incident into an eye opening epiphany for her protagonist. As we journey with Sarah we experience her loss, her gradual acceptance and bravery that turns to a renewed hope in the joy of a peaceful, happy life.
~~Book Review I wrote of Left Neglected by Lisa Genova. I hope some one else may enjoy this book as much as I have! Any comments/remarks about the review would be appreciated as it is an assignment for my writing course. Thanks for reading! ~Florence