Our brains are wired differently, and we have to figure out how to make them work.
A car accident. A brain injury. And the hard work to recover a life. Or rather, the hard work to learn a new way of being in the world. Revisiting Still Alice started me on a Lisa Genova reading tour and this one holds some striking similarities to my own story.
The main character in Left Neglected is a wife and mother of three young children who is also deeply engaged in her high powered, fast paced career when a terrible car accident messed up the wiring in her brain and she can no longer perceive the left side of herself – not just the left side of her own body, but also everything left in her field of vision. I felt like the story rushed a little too fast through the accident and its aftermath, jumping to the neurological diagnosis of Left Neglect without naming the likelihood that such an accident surely had a lot of additional broken body impacts. But author Lisa Genova is a storytelling neuroscientist and traumatic brain injury is her topic for this novel. I’m okay with that. I really appreciated the fact that along with portraying the neurological changes and challenges of a brain injury, she told the psychological and emotional impact story as well. It’s no small thing to navigate to a new normal and live there.