Neuroscientist and multiple award–winning author, Lisa Genova has been honored repeatedly for her writing excellence. Her first novel, Still Alice, a haunting and moving portrait of Alzheimer’s patient, was a commercial and critical success, debuting at #5 on the New York Times list and staying there for more than thirty weeks. Now she brings attention to a lesser-known condition, building upon the same kind of humanity that made Still Alice so special.
Thirty-something Sarah Nickerson is like so many women today—driven to succeed at home and at work, multi-tasking all day long, spread extremely thin. The morning that changes her life forever is at first just a typical morning. She’s in her car on her way to work, about to make a business call. But she takes her eyes off the road for one second too long, and she finds herself involved in a terrible accident. Sarah suffers a traumatic brain injury. Her memory and intellect are still intact, but she loses the ability to perceive information coming from the left—as if the left side of everything no longer exists—a condition known as left neglect. In just the blink of an eye, her life has changed. But as she works to recover, she reorders her priorities, and heals a rift with her mother, as well.
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Reading Group Guide
Sarah’s life is on track—the fast track. She and her husband both work 80 hour weeks at high-powered jobs in Boston, while spending as much time as possible with their three small children. Sarah is a juggler extraordinaire, keeping her demanding job and her family as balanced as she can. But when a car accident leaves her recovering from Left Neglect, a neurological impairment that robs her of her ability to control the left side of her body, she can barely get out of bed on her own. As Sarah struggles to resume her over-scheduled life, she must juggle new things—her son’s ADHD diagnosis, the return of her estranged mother, and her own limitations. Given a traumatic opportunity to reassess what is really important in life, Sarah must decide where her priorities lie.
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION
1. Is Sarah better off at the end of the novel than at the beginning? If so, in what ways?
2. Sarah has a series of anxious dreams in the nights leading up to the accident see more