Review of Lisa Genova's Novel, Left Neglected

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“Left Neglected”, is all about someone who has been left neglected by the time and the nature and of someone whose left has been neglected!

Lisa Genova, who holds Doctorate in Neuroscience, has published a Novel on Alzheimer’s before this book and this time again she takes the readers through the intricacies of another brain disorder diagnosed as ‘left neglected’. It is a state of the brain where the right hemisphere, may be due to an accident or shock, ceases working and the victim is all blank of his/her left side. His or her life becomes so confined that the left side of the person is erased once for all from his/her life and world.

Sarah Nickerson was, as per her own perception, at the peak of a well-defined life with both she and her husband working to earn handsomely and were amidst a busy and wealthy life on their way to earn a house with one more room; so that their necessity to have one in house aid, would be possible. They were at the helm of work starting as early as the dawn and it used to stretch up to late nights. Now at this juncture, they were finding it difficult to handover the youngest of their three babies, who was nine months old, to a day care home when they were out on work.

This is all about the story Lisa has to portrait in the first portion of the book named as ‘before’. Then starts, the other side of the life getting unravelled. It all happened when Sarah was on a drive and the darkness dwelled up on to her life when she was trying to find out a number from her cell phone’s contact list.

An accident had something very bitter to offer her as it caused her brain’s right hemisphere damaged drastically to cause its malfunction resulting in Sarah Nickerson left with the world on her left erased from her life forever.

The consequences of the accident is something concerning but all readers might be expecting some sort of an end to Sarah’s unbelievably fast paced life in the first half of the book. But the cost she had to pay or the pace her life toppled down in to was so grave that keeping oneself alive at that pace becomes almost impossible.

Will power only can seldom cure a life like this and though Sarah tried to remain confident of recovery that is an engaging story to go through. Lisa, being a Neuroscience expert justifies her role by providing very minute details of that sympathetic state of life and scientific explanations.

Lisa pens down the emotional side of Sarah in a great manner and the way she explains her feelings once she had no other option but to seek her mother’s hand for help even though her mind recalled her mother’s reaction when they had lost her brother.

But life is not all that bad or gruesome and there are sparks of joy and hope and Sarah is in fact finding all those joys in her life after being left neglected. From a typical urban working woman who was heading a consulting firm, she changes over to lead a slow pace life.

Now she has enough time to find out time for all those which she left neglected in her post accident life and most cherishing one is that she is deriving invaluable satisfaction by being with her family and children which she could never find out during her earlier life and now as if from the blue she gets all those, god has merrily made for her.

Life is all about those ups and downs but the way we make ourselves happy makes the difference and now though Sarah has to satisfy with a less ambitious life, though her husband finding it difficult to make both ends meet, she has come to terms with her present life and that is evident from her improved relation with mother Helen.

Lisa Genova makes a novel which would have become a scientific narration or study material otherwise, had it been left neglected, in to an unforgettable reading through her god gifted style. 

Lisa reminds us of the importance of finding out the real joy and happiness of life which most of us could not achieve because we leave all those aspects of life which mesmerize the real happiness of life inside them, neglected.


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