Lisa Genova had a New York Times bestseller with her first novel Still Alice. I know she's got another bestseller on her hands with her latest book Left Neglected - releasing Jan 4/11.
Sarah Nickerson has it all and can do it all. Can't she? High powered job - minimum of 80 hours a week, gorgeous house in a sought after neighbourhood, vacation home in Vermont, 3 children and a devoted husband. The one thing she doesn't seem to have though, is enough time.
She can't make it to every soccer game and is sure that the other parents think that "Mothers who miss the games, like me, are bad mothers." "I love my children and know they're important, but so is my career and the life that career affords us." And her love life...well..."It's our typical morning good-bye kiss. A quick peck. A well-intentioned habit....It's a routine kiss, but I'm glad we do it. It does mean something. It's enough. And it's all we have time for."
You get the picture. It is while trying to multitask - driving while talking on the cell phone - that Sarah's world is turned upside down. She gets into a horrific crash - one that leaves her with a traumatic brain injury. She is unaware of the left side of anything, including herself. And yes, the condition is real.
Unable to work, dependent on others and forced to accept that her life will never be quite the same, Sarah must reexamine her life, her priorities and her relationships - the things in her life that have been 'left neglected.' I found the rekindling of the relationship with her mother especially poignant.
Although the subject matter is serious, Genova handles it with candor and humour. Sarah's voice is so appealing and honest. Genova has a degree in Biopsychology and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard - her descriptions of a patient coping with brain injury are both accurate and informative.
But Left Neglected is simply a really, really good read. Genova's prose flow so easily, the story is addictive and I became invested in Sarah's journey. And maybe take some time to reevaluate your own priorities.
"What else is there? Maybe success can be something else, and maybe there's another way to get there."
Eminently gift card worthy. I think this is going to be one of 2011's best sellers too. Five stars for me.