Listen free for 30 days

  • Left Neglected

  • By: Lisa Genova
  • Narrated by: Sarah Paulson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
Left Neglected cover art

Left Neglected

By: Lisa Genova
Narrated by: Sarah Paulson
Try for £0.00

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £20.79

Buy Now for £20.79

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Editor reviews

Wife, mother, and hyper-driven, multitasking Sarah Nickerson, a 37-year-old Harvard Business School grad, is so controlled she limits her crying to five minutes twice a month behind her office desk. She travels to China on business, and still signs permission slips on time. Left Neglected, by Lisa Genova, discerningly chronicles Sarah both before and after a devastating brain injury blots out the left side of her world. Actor Sarah Paulson, always an incandescent force, narrates here with such disarming openness that Left Neglected — superficially about a preppy modern mommy of three finding grace through catastrophe — gathers enough texture to unfold a richly moving rebirth.

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

Summary

Sarah Nickerson is like any other career-driven supermom in Welmont, the affluent Boston suburb where she leads a hectic but charmed life with her husband Bob, faithful nanny, and three children—Lucy, Charlie, and nine-month-old Linus.

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.

©2011 Lisa Genova (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

Critic reviews

"Imagine your too busy, over scheduled, Type A life coming to a screeching halt. That is what happens in Lisa Genova's timely new novel, Left Neglected. As her protagonist, Sarah Nickerson, works her way through a devastating brain injury and back into that hectic life, she is forced to re-evaluate what really matters. I dare any reader to not do the same in their own lives after reading this book." (Ann Hood)
"Devastating and hopeful, haunting and familiar, Left Neglected is a triumph of insight and empathy." (Stefan Merrill Block, international best-selling author of The Story of Forgetting and The Storm at the Door)
“Once again, Lisa Genova goes where few authors dare, and mines a compelling and beautifully written story about finding peace, wisdom and human connection. While Sarah Nickerson’s condition is rare, her journey is universal. “ (Lynn Kiele Bonasia, author of Summer Shift)

What listeners say about Left Neglected

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Don’t neglect this book

Fantastic book, so glad they finally added it to audible. The narrator is perfect. Interesting story about a super busy working mum and a fascinating condition that most people have not heard of. The end was a bit easy but I loved it anyway.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Reassurance for those who live with TBI

I enjoyed the way that this novel sheds light on the issues faced by those who live with left neglect following TBI. I like its positivity which reflects my own outlook on life. Recommended for patients and carers of those who live with brain injury.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Pamela Harvey
  • Pamela Harvey
  • 06-01-11

Left Neglected?

This is nothing like "Still Alice" - no matter how many PhD's you have you can't just pick an obscure syndrome and turn it into a relatable, emotionally affecting story. Few diseases are as frightening as Alzheimer's so "Left Neglected" has a hard act to follow. If Genova does not actually have EOAD and managed to write as intimately about it as she did in "Still Alice" you'd think she'd be up to the task of selecting some other more relatable disease around which to wrap her imagination.

The story takes forever with its initial laundry list of the perfect life, and the narrator has a lisp.

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MissSusie66
  • MissSusie66
  • 11-02-11

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.
Great Narration!

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for joyce
  • joyce
  • 09-01-15

Author does great job inhabiting a damaged brain

I am so tired of hearing about 'high-powered' 'over-achievers' and their 'charmed lives' and their over-scheduled kids and their expensive designer everything; I'm not envious, or interested, I'm just bored. But if you can overlook that construct, which the author uses so that her brain-injured heroine can learn what is 'truly important' in life, this book is a fascinating look at a really weird phenomenon, 'left neglect', in which an injury to the right brain leaves one unaware that 'left' exists; the left of the room, the left of the page, the left of the body, the left of anything. Weird! And it seems like the author could not have done a better job of describing the frustrations of this affliction if she did, indeed, suffer from it herself. It is really interesting to follow this woman's road to recovery. And the reader was excellent.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sandra
  • Sandra
  • 06-11-12

Left Neglected

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Harriold
  • Harriold
  • 19-01-15

Uncanny true representation of left neglect

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

As weird as living on mars

Any additional comments?

I suffered stroke and experienced left neglect. Sara's experience was exactly mine

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jessica
  • Jessica
  • 04-11-15

Solid 3.5 Stars for Left Neglected

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Absolutely!

Any additional comments?

Solid 3.5 Stars.

Lisa Genova has quickly become one of my favorite authors. She writes about health issues that are real life issues that happen to many people, this certain topic of this book, left neglect, is one that I had never heard of prior to reading this book.

Left Neglect is a term used to describe when your body no longer realizes it has a left side, therefore, you are unable to eat, walk, read, get dressed, exercise, etc.. correctly. Intense physical therapy is needed and individuals who are plagued with left neglect may never completely return to normal.

This is my least favorite Lisa Genova book I have read. I think the reason for this is because her other books discussed illnesses that were much more widely known. She is still an incredibly talented author and I look forward to reading her next book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Debra
  • Debra
  • 09-02-15

Totally Awesome Book! So glad I didn't miss this.

This is such a great book. You felt like you were right there with her from the beginning to the end. A very emotional story mixed with some great humor. Found myself laughing out loud during certain parts. Sarah Paulson is a wonderful actress and did a wonderful job reading this book! I would highly recommend.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for stacy
  • stacy
  • 03-01-15

Funny

This was a humorous book for a serious topic. I liked it almost as much as Still Alice. The narrator was so great and really made the characters enjoyable.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Diana Jo
  • Diana Jo
  • 01-10-12

A very moving story!

Where does Left Neglected rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Left Neglected is probably the most enjoyable book I've listened to on Audible.com. I highly recommend this audible book to anyone who loves a "bring you up" story that makes you feel good after you've read it.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters seem very real, not exotic, but like people we might know in our own lives.

What about Sarah Paulson’s performance did you like?

I really enjoyed listening to her. Her voice is easy to listen to and she made the main character seem believable. I think one of the main reasons I choose Left Neglected to listen to on Audible was the way Sarah Paulson's narration was so captivating and so pleasing to the ear. I would love to listen to another book she narrates.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I felt that this was a story of a strong and very determined woman, a person who has much feeling and also who learns to "stop and smell the roses" while experiencing a very serious crisis in her life. My heart felt good after listening to it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rebecca
  • Rebecca
  • 26-04-11

Unlikable Main Character

The condition 'Left Neglect' suffered by the main character in this book is extremely fascinating and intriguing, yet the main character herself is completely unlikable. She is a pessimistic narcissist that seems to consider everyone in her life, including her children, a burden. I kept expecting a big change in her, an evolution of character, that never occurred. It seemed she learned nothing from her traumatic experience. My entire book club agreed: interesting condition, horrible main character, so-so book.

3 people found this helpful