Synopses & Reviews
Carolyn Jourdan left her beloved Tennessee hometown for a career in Washington, D.C. For twenty years she worked with the country's most powerful people. A successful attorney, she was smart and ambitious, and she believed her work made a difference.
So when her father asked her to come home and be the receptionist at his tiny rural doctor's office while her mother recovered from a heart attack, Carolyn reluctantly agreed, thinking she could handle it-- for a day or two. 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 Medicaid forms; and tending to the loquacious Miss Hiawatha, whose daily doctor visits were never billed.
Slowly her fast-track Washington world began to pale in comparison with her new life. And her father proved more heroic and devoted than any politician she'd ever met. He made a difference every day, treating each patient, no matter how crazy or ornery or obnoxious, with dignity. And so, now, did Carolyn. Told with tremendous heart, this is the story of how, sometimes, you can-- and should-- go home again.
"[A]n absolute delight of a book: warm, funny and written with great heart and understanding."
—Howard Shirley, BookPage
"Heart in the Right Place
provided laugh out loud humor to me while on the treadmill (although too much laughing while running can be dangerous ... ) ... I have been recommending this book to friends telling them some of the humorous anecdotes within, but it is the deeper meaning ... that will keep this story in my memory."
—Tina Ristau, Des Moines Register Des Moines Register
"Jourdan's tone is heartfelt without being preachy and frequently funny without being trite. Readers struggling to reconcile their practices with their beliefs will find Jourdan's memoir to be as much a blueprint for change as it is a satisfying recollection of one person's journey to fulfillment."
—L. Elisabeth Beattie, Louisville Courier Journal Louisville Courier Journal
andquot;[A]n absolute delight of a book: warm, funny and written with great heart and understanding.andquot;
andmdash;Howard Shirley, BookPage
"This is a wonderful book. I would have enjoyed it even if Carolyn wasn't a neighbor of mine in East Tennessee. She is a great writer."
—Dolly Parton, Singer, Songwriter, and Actress
"Heartwarming, funny, and utterly appealing."
"Carolyn Jourdan's compelling memoir is by turns hilarious, sobering, and wise."
— Kate Whouley, author of Cottage for Sale, Must Be Moved
"A stirring, beautiful memoir that is alternately hilarious and heartbreaking."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review Publishers Weekly
"Sometimes the greater good can best be served one person at a time. With lavish affection, genuine respect, and exuberant humor, Jourdan offers a zestfully compassionate portrait of a poor community rich in the ways of humanity."
"This is a soul-touching memoir filled with memorable Southern characters, plus plenty of country humor, but mostly a memoir about character—the transformative power of selfless acts in forgotten places far from the spotlight."
—John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Moving from her career as a successful Washington attorney back to her native Tennessee, Jourdan recognizes her father to be more heroic and devoted than any politician she'd ever met. Told with tremendous heart, this is the story of how, sometimes, it is possible to go home again.
Carolyn Jourdan, an attorney on Capitol Hill, thought she had it made. But when her mother has a heart attack, she returns home—to the Tennessee mountains, where her father is a country doctor and her mother works as his receptionist. Jourdan offers to fill in for her mother until she gets better. But days turn into weeks as she trades her suits for scrubs and finds herself following hazmat regulations for cleaning up bodily fluids; maintaining composure when confronted with a splinter the size of a steak knife; and tending to the loquacious Miss Hiawatha, whose daily doctor visits are never billed. Most important, though, she comes to understand what her caring and patient father means to her close-knit community.
With great humor and great tenderness, Heart in the Right Place shows that some of our biggest heroes are the ones living right beside us.
About the Author
Carolyn Jourdan, a former U.S. Senate Counsel to the Committee on environment and Public Works and the Committee on Governmental Affairs (now homeland Security and Governmental Affairs), is an award-winning writer and documentary filmmaker. She lives on the family farm in east Knox County, Tennessee