Was it someone here on Red Room who wrote about this book? I don't remember where or when I read a reference to it, but it was recently and I had done what I usually do, signed on to the library's website and put in a request. I picked it up Thursday, starting it yesterday and finishing it today.
"Left Neglected" is wonderful, absolutely wonderful. It rings so true, and so real: the people, the situations, the places. The injured protagonist is driven, but likeable; her husband, ditto; and their children are like real children, not caricatures or cartoons. The grandmother plays an integral part; she and her backstory are as real as everyone and everything else. I loved the whole book, and now will go reserve Lisa Genova's previous novel, "Still Alice."
While reading "Left Neglected," I kept waiting for Genova to fall into stereotypes, to have people react in a canned or Hollywood fashion, but she never--not once--fell into that trap. The couple stayed real throughout, their relationship lasted, they stuck by each other and laughed at the situations they found themselves in, just like real people--something so many novelists never manage. The whole story just rang true, from the first page to the last.
And then, right at the end of the book, Genova got even better--not only did the story ring true, but she had the couple celebrate the day of the accident, to "celebrate the life [they] have and not bemoan the life [they've] lost." I loved that! That's what we do about the day KidThree was shot. We don't bemoan the shooting and the paralysis, we rejoice that she's still alive, that she's not dead. That bullet hit her spleen before hitting her stomach, diaphragm, and those three vertebrae; if not for the wonderful training of that paramedic, and the excellence of our local trauma center, we would not have KidThree today. So we celebrate. It's her "Not Dead Day," and we rejoice that she's Not Dead. And Lisa Geneova gets that, that those days should be celebrated, not for the loss but for the survival. If I hadn't loved the book already, that alone would have gotten it a good review. But, but, but, her understanding of that issue didn't have to carry the book by itself--the entire novel was that good, that real, that true.
I strongly recommend "Left Neglected" by Lisa Genova. You won't be disappointed.