å Heart in the Right Place: A Memoir Ç Download by À Carolyn Jourdan Goodreads author Carolyn Jourdan is one of my longest standing Goodreads friends but back in 2007, when this book first came out and before I d ever heard of Goodreads, I d read a review of it in Library Journal or Booklist maybe both and been intrigued by it I usually don t read memoirs, except for James Herriot s books, but this one caught my interest So, when I had a chance to snag a copy on BookMooch awhile ago, I grabbed it up I m really glad I finally made time to read it The Goodreads description actually gives a good sketch of the situation that confronted Carolyn during the year that this book covers, and the decision that emerged from it What it may not fully convey is the flavor of the book It s not a bit pat or treacly the author doesn t try to portray herself as a saint, and her struggle with the idea of giving up a 100,000 a year job as a Senate committee counsel, and a lifestyle she liked, in order to opt for a much less heralded and lucrative place of service is portrayed with unflinching honesty That makes her decision all the powerful in the end it wasn t something she effortlessly fell into, but a conscious, deliberate choice of the kind of things that matter most in life Along the way, she provides us as readers with a wonderful ride.
Appalachia is where I ve lived for than 20 years, so I could relate to the setting here She doesn t romanticize it, though she makes it clear that it s a place of great natural beauty, a place where communities of friends and family who actually help each other can still be found, and a place with a cultural ethos that s not wholly homogenized by modernity But it s also a place of widespread poverty, ravaged by prescription drug addiction, and not immune to the social dysfunctions of modern life Above, I mentioned James Herriot s books as memoirs I liked Some reviewers have actually compared this book to his work and allowing for the differences in time and place, there are similarities in the rural setting, the tone, and the fascinating character portrayals of the patients which here even include some animals Dr Jourdan wasn t a veterinarian, but he saw a few four legged patients nonetheless The goat on the cover of the edition I read came in for an X ray There s abundant humor in these pages I laughed out loud several times But humor sometimes serves to hold back tears, because medical practice necessarily involves its tragedies, too patients die, and they re not always the patients we think are ready to die And there s a goodly share of wisdom, too, homespun or hard won and ultimate triumph that makes the spirit soar It s no secret that I tend to prefer fiction over nonfiction in my reads, but this is nonfiction that s as readable as a novel a high quality, serious novel that has something worthwhile to say as opposed to what passes for a modern literary novel.
I m trying not to make this review too long but one point that cries out to be made, and that the reader can t help but take from the book, is the contrast between the older personal, service oriented kind of medicine exemplified in this book by Dr Jourdan a doctor, for instance, who still made housecalls, and didn t charge indigent patients , and the modern bureaucratic, profit driven model we re told we have to settle for now We all know the former is better, but we ve gotten accustomed to wringing our hands and bewailing its loss This book shows us that we don t have to do that that human scaled medicine is a viable option for the present, given people determined to make it work.
Very strict Christian readers may be put off by the fact that Carolyn and her family and friends don t totally eschew a certain amount of bad language of the d , h and s word sort at times, and she faithfully reproduces that dialogue as it was And a couple of conversations involve theological speculations that aren t strictly orthodox For my part, I honestly wasn t bothered by either factor here As far as theology goes, I d rather see people take God seriously enough to think about him, even in ways I don t agree with, than to ignore Him and the latter is something our author doesn t do While the author doesn t try to make herself a plaster saint on a pedestal here, and laughs at her own foibles as much as at anybody s, the personality that s revealed here is a really likeable one kind, smart, caring and at times a little zany I m proud to say that we re friends even in the limited sense that word sometimes bears on Goodreads and getting to know her, even through the medium of a book, is one of the best treats this read has to offer.
Note in the back, the edition I read has a short but interesting Conversation With the Author, and even some discussion questions for book clubs who want to do this book as a read I m not sure if all the editions have these but I highly recommend the book in any edition I enjoyed reading this memoir and recommended it to my husband, who is enjoying it now This book reminds me of James Herriot s stories, with vivid descriptions of the clients that visited the doctor s office and serious and laugh out loud humourous incidents The author s mother had a sudden heart attack, so Carolyn had to temporarily leave a life of glitz and extravagance in Washington to go home to the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee and reluctantly fill in as receptionist in her father s medical practice Carolyn remembers her parents working and being on call 24 7, in other words, every minute of every day She was happy to leave home and make it big in Washington, and longs to be back there now But she gradually sees her dad as a hero and someone highly needed and thought of in the community The point was that, by intervening in each other s traumas, we could utterly transform each other s lives It was about the fundamental act of placing our attention outside ourselves and onto other people who needed it 4 brilliant country stars 3.
75 starsMost non fiction that I read is historical, about a trial, a murder, a famine, a famous person However, this non fiction was family oriented, and humorous Laugh out loud humorous Carolyn Jourdan was where she thought she wanted to be She had the job she thought she wanted She was in the glitz and glimmer Then she was needed at home Her father was a small town doctor, often taking this years fresh tomatoes in payment for his services He needed a receptionist for his office temporarily What else could she do she moved home temporarily to Tennessee, the place that she wanted most to be away from.
This book is written in a quasi vignette style Jourdan tells some of the best of the best stories about working in her Dads office She tells of the escapades of the local people and how her dad treats his patients, with both tenderness and understanding How death reverberates back to the doctors office and that staff And how the interaction of each of their jobs effect this tight knit community.
Thoughts soon.
Goodreads author Carolyn Jourdan is one of my longest standing Goodreads friends but back in 2007, when this book first came out and before I d ever heard of Goodreads, I d read a review of it in Library Journal or Booklist maybe both and been intrigued by it I usually don t read memoirs, except for James Herriot s books, but this one caught my interest So, when I had a chance to snag a copy on BookMooch awhile ago, I grabbed it up I m really glad I finally made time to read it The Goodreads description actually gives a good sketch of the situation that confronted Carolyn during the year that this book covers, and the decision that emerged from it What it may not fully convey is the flavor of the book It s not a bit pat or treacly the author doesn t try to portray herself as a saint, and her struggle with the idea of giving up a 100,000 a year job as a Senate committee counsel, and a lifestyle she liked, in order to opt for a much less heralded and lucrative place of service is portrayed with unflinching honesty That makes her decision all the powerful in the end it wasn t something she effortlessly fell into, but a conscious, deliberate choice of the kind of things that matter most in life Along the way, she provides us as readers with a wonderful ride.
Appalachia is where I ve lived for than 20 years, so I could relate to the setting here She doesn t romanticize it, though she makes it clear that it s a place of great natural beauty, a place where communities of friends and family who actually help each other can still be found, and a place with a cultural ethos that s not wholly homogenized by modernity But it s also a place of widespread poverty, ravaged by prescription drug addiction, and not immune to the social dysfunctions of modern life Above, I mentioned James Herriot s books as memoirs I liked Some reviewers have actually compared this book to his work and allowing for the differences in time and place, there are similarities in the rural setting, the tone, and the fascinating character portrayals of the patients which here even include some animals Dr Jourdan wasn t a veterinarian, but he saw a few four legged patients nonetheless The goat on the cover of the edition I read came in for an X ray There s abundant humor in these pages I laughed out loud several times But humor sometimes serves to hold back tears, because medical practice necessarily involves its tragedies, too patients die, and they re not always the patients we think are ready to die And there s a goodly share of wisdom, too, homespun or hard won and ultimate triumph that makes the spirit soar It s no secret that I tend to prefer fiction over nonfiction in my reads, but this is nonfiction that s as readable as a novel a high quality, serious novel that has something worthwhile to say as opposed to what passes for a modern literary novel.
I m trying not to make this review too long but one point that cries out to be made, and that the reader can t help but take from the book, is the contrast between the older personal, service oriented kind of medicine exemplified in this book by Dr Jourdan a doctor, for instance, who still made housecalls, and didn t charge indigent patients , and the modern bureaucratic, profit driven model we re told we have to settle for now We all know the former is better, but we ve gotten accustomed to wringing our hands and bewailing its loss This book shows us that we don t have to do that that human scaled medicine is a viable option for the present, given people determined to make it work.
Very strict Christian readers may be put off by the fact that Carolyn and her family and friends don t totally eschew a certain amount of bad language of the d , h and s word sort at times, and she faithfully reproduces that dialogue as it was And a couple of conversations involve theological speculations that aren t strictly orthodox For my part, I honestly wasn t bothered by either factor here As far as theology goes, I d rather see people take God seriously enough to think about him, even in ways I don t agree with, than to ignore Him and the latter is something our author doesn t do While the author doesn t try to make herself a plaster saint on a pedestal here, and laughs at her own foibles as much as at anybody s, the personality that s revealed here is a really likeable one kind, smart, caring and at times a little zany I m proud to say that we re friends even in the limited sense that word sometimes bears on Goodreads and getting to know her, even through the medium of a book, is one of the best treats this read has to offer.
Note in the back, the edition I read has a short but interesting Conversation With the Author, and even some discussion questions for book clubs who want to do this book as a read I m not sure if all the editions have these but I highly recommend the book in any edition I enjoyed reading this memoir and recommended it to my husband, who is enjoying it now This book reminds me of James Herriot s stories, with vivid descriptions of the clients that visited the doctor s office and serious and laugh out loud humourous incidents The author s mother had a sudden heart attack, so Carolyn had to temporarily leave a life of glitz and extravagance in Washington to go home to the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee and reluctantly fill in as receptionist in her father s medical practice Carolyn remembers her parents working and being on call 24 7, in other words, every minute of every day She was happy to leave home and make it big in Washington, and longs to be back there now But she gradually sees her dad as a hero and someone highly needed and thought of in the community The point was that, by intervening in each other s traumas, we could utterly transform each other s lives It was about the fundamental act of placing our attention outside ourselves and onto other people who needed it 4 brilliant country stars 3.
75 starsMost non fiction that I read is historical, about a trial, a murder, a famine, a famous person However, this non fiction was family oriented, and humorous Laugh out loud humorous Carolyn Jourdan was where she thought she wanted to be She had the job she thought she wanted She was in the glitz and glimmer Then she was needed at home Her father was a small town doctor, often taking this years fresh tomatoes in payment for his services He needed a receptionist for his office temporarily What else could she do she moved home temporarily to Tennessee, the place that she wanted most to be away from.
This book is written in a quasi vignette style Jourdan tells some of the best of the best stories about working in her Dads office She tells of the escapades of the local people and how her dad treats his patients, with both tenderness and understanding How death reverberates back to the doctors office and that staff And how the interaction of each of their jobs effect this tight knit community.
Thoughts soon.
another reviewer said the big question is whether Carolyn would return to her big paying law job, and i believe not i met her this last summer ,when she stayed at my BB, and visited our pulpwood queen bookclub she currently works as a guide and writer at the largest national park Iforgot the name in the Appalachians she loves it, and she is still writing she is a quirky ,funny gal, and i just loved her she is the real deal she is just a very nice ,sweet person, and dresses very down Her book made me laugh and cry she has that funny sense of humor about her in the way she talks and writes.
I did not expect to like this book as much as I did It s a memoir of a woman who takes a leave of absence from her fast paced, high pressured government job in Washington, D.
C to help out her father when her mother has a heart attack Her dad is a country doctor in Tennessee, and Carolyn fills in as his receptionist while her mom recovers What follows is a year long journey of Carolyn adjusting to the challenges of working in a doctor s office and struggling with the decision of whether to return to D.
C or to stay and help her parents.
The book is filled with colorful stories and characters, and had a good dose of humor along with the serious I would recommend it to anyone who likes reading about small town life, medical stories or personal journeys.
Heart In The Right Place, An Alternately Laugh Out Loud Funny And Cry Your Eyes Out Serious Memoir About The Down Sizing Of Carolyn Jourdan S Life From White Marble Columns, Gilded Domes, And Neiman Marcus To Naugahyde, Peeling Linoleum, And Wal MartCarolyn Jourdan Had It All The Mercedes Benz, The Fancy Soirees, The Best Clothes She Moved In The Most Exclusive Circles In Washington, DC Rubbed Elbows With Big Politicians, And Worked On Capitol Hill As Far As She Was Concerned, She Was Changing The World And Then Her Mother Had A Heart Attack Carolyn Came Home To Help Her Father With His Rural Medical Practice In The Tennessee Mountains She D Fill In For A Few Days As The Receptionist Until Her Mother Could Return To Work Or So She Thought But Days Turned Into Weeks Her Job Now Included Following Hazmat Regulations For Cleaning Up Bodily Fluids Maintaining Composure When Confronted With A Splinter The Size Of A Steak Knife Distinguishing Between A Pain, A Strain, And A Sprain On Indecipherable Medicare Forms And Tending To The Loquacious Miss Hiawatha, Whose Daily Doctor Visits Were Never BilledEventually, Jourdan Gave Up Her Mercedes And Made Do With A Twenty Year Old Postal Jeep She Shed Her Suits For Scrubs And The Funny Thing Was, She Liked Her New Life As She Watched Her Father Work Tirelessly And Uncomplainingly, She Saw What Making A Difference Really Meant Being On Call All Hours Of The Day And Night, Tolerating The Local Drug Addict S Frequent Phone Calls, Truly Listening To Miss Hiawatha It Meant Just Showing Up, Every Day, And Taking Care Of Every Person In Strawberry Plains And Beyond, Whether He Got Paid To Do It Or Not And For His Daughter, It Meant Learning That Her Real Place To Change The World Was Right Here In Her Hometown By Her Father S Side Review to follow When Senate Counsel Carolyn Jourdan returns to the mountains of eastern Tennessee from Washington, DC after the sudden illness of her mother, she has no idea how long she ll be needed to fill in her role as receptionist for her father, the kindly country doctor She figures at first it will just be two days But readers can be glad that it wasn t as in Heart in the Right Place, Jourdan takes the reader on a true journey of the heart to the people of eastern Tennessee and through all the trials and tribulations of a small country one doctor medical practice One where he might be paid in even a fox carcass if he charged his patients anything at all.
We meet and learn to love the patients in the practice such as the eccentric Miss Hiawatha and the kindly Mike who doesn t hardly know he is handicapped And then there are the two friends Obie and Kermit You never know what kind of predicament they are going to get themselves into next and what kind of injuries it s going to cause Each time they come through the clinic door it s going to be something totally different The big question on everyone s mind is, will Carolyn stay in eastern Tennessee where she earned 0 in one year or return to her high power, six figure job in Washington, DC It was recommended I get this book via s Customers Also Bought feature after I had purchased another book I clicked on it and read the description As a long time medical office employee it sounded right up my alley But it would appeal to anyone who enjoys sweet stories with quirky characters such as the Mitford series by Jan Karon or anyone who loves the TV series Northern Exposure or Ballykissangel But these are very real people here, not those from fiction I laughed and I cried, I read passages out loud to my husband, and I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning two nights in a row to finish it I can t recommend this book enough You will want to buy one for yourself and another as a gift for someone you care about.
At roughly the halfway point, I was prepared to dimiss the book as a cynical attempt by a well paid civil servant to cash in on her experience having finished the story, I highly recommend it Ms Jourdan s certainly not the same person by the conclusion, and really seems to care about her community.
Narrator does a terrific job with the accents, so it s an esp great audio experience.



I did not expect to like this book as much as I did It s a memoir of a woman who takes a leave of absence from her fast paced, high pressured government job in Washington, D.
C to help out her father when her mother has a heart attack Her dad is a country doctor in Tennessee, and Carolyn fills in as his receptionist while her mom recovers What follows is a year long journey of Carolyn adjusting to the challenges of working in a doctor s office and struggling with the decision of whether to return to D.
C or to stay and help her parents.
The book is filled with colorful stories and characters, and had a good dose of humor along with the serious I would recommend it to anyone who likes reading about small town life, medical stories or personal journeys.
another reviewer said the big question is whether Carolyn would return to her big paying law job, and i believe not i met her this last summer ,when she stayed at my BB, and visited our pulpwood queen bookclub she currently works as a guide and writer at the largest national park Iforgot the name in the Appalachians she loves it, and she is still writing she is a quirky ,funny gal, and i just loved her she is the real deal she is just a very nice ,sweet person, and dresses very down Her book made me laugh and cry she has that funny sense of humor about her in the way she talks and writes.
Review to follow When Senate Counsel Carolyn Jourdan returns to the mountains of eastern Tennessee from Washington, DC after the sudden illness of her mother, she has no idea how long she ll be needed to fill in her role as receptionist for her father, the kindly country doctor She figures at first it will just be two days But readers can be glad that it wasn t as in Heart in the Right Place, Jourdan takes the reader on a true journey of the heart to the people of eastern Tennessee and through all the trials and tribulations of a small country one doctor medical practice One where he might be paid in even a fox carcass if he charged his patients anything at all.
We meet and learn to love the patients in the practice such as the eccentric Miss Hiawatha and the kindly Mike who doesn t hardly know he is handicapped And then there are the two friends Obie and Kermit You never know what kind of predicament they are going to get themselves into next and what kind of injuries it s going to cause Each time they come through the clinic door it s going to be something totally different The big question on everyone s mind is, will Carolyn stay in eastern Tennessee where she earned 0 in one year or return to her high power, six figure job in Washington, DC It was recommended I get this book via s Customers Also Bought feature after I had purchased another book I clicked on it and read the description As a long time medical office employee it sounded right up my alley But it would appeal to anyone who enjoys sweet stories with quirky characters such as the Mitford series by Jan Karon or anyone who loves the TV series Northern Exposure or Ballykissangel But these are very real people here, not those from fiction I laughed and I cried, I read passages out loud to my husband, and I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning two nights in a row to finish it I can t recommend this book enough You will want to buy one for yourself and another as a gift for someone you care about.
At roughly the halfway point, I was prepared to dimiss the book as a cynical attempt by a well paid civil servant to cash in on her experience having finished the story, I highly recommend it Ms Jourdan s certainly not the same person by the conclusion, and really seems to care about her community.
Narrator does a terrific job with the accents, so it s an esp great audio experience.