Left Neglected is the second Lisa Genova novel I've read. I loved Still Alice so much that I was really excited to read this one.
Sarah is a busy career mom with too much to do and not enough time. Her multitasking during a commute results in a terrible accident that leaves her with a traumatic brain injury. The resulting condition is left neglect, a syndrome where the mind doesn't see anything on the left. She doesn't feel or move the left side of her body and she can't see or draw the left side of objects.
Her life has completely changed. Used to being a highly efficient woman, she can no longer do anything for herself. She struggles to work through her illness and become more independent, learning what is important in life along the way.
I will admit that it is difficult to fully fathom the scope of this illness. It doesn't really make sense. But...it is a real condition, Genova did her homework. I literally looked up the condition on the internet because I thought there was no way such a thing existed. It is odd to think that she cannot see the left side of objects. If someone moves out of her vision to one side, okay...that makes sense. But literally looking at an object right in front of her and just flat out not seeing the left hand side? Weird. Especially the fact that she doesn't register not seeing the left hand side. She thinks she's seeing everything because her brain more or less duplicates the right side. She thinks she's seeing everything just fine.
Understanding the condition was the roughest part of the book. Once I was able to look past the inability to really understand the whole idea, things moved smoothly. I like Genova's writing style. She does a great job at focusing in on her main character. The supporting characters are very peripheral, but they aren't simple...they still could potentially stand on their own. It's a great balance.
I read the book rather quickly and really only took as long as I did because of the aforementioned issue with the disorder. Though it wasn't as good as Still Alice, I still really liked Left Neglected. I rated it 4 out of 5 stars.