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Heart in the Right Place: A Memoir Paperback – Aug 19 2008

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books; Reprint edition (Aug. 19 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565126130
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565126138
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.1 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #880,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Former U.S. Senate counsel Jourdan writes of giving up her fast-paced life in Washington to work in her father's family medical practice office in east Tennessee. "For forty years, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week," she writes, "Momma and Daddy ran a homemade, low paid 911 service for a large rural community. There was no such thing as a day off, ever." When her mother had a heart attack, leaving the front desk unmanned, Jourdan returned home to help keep the area's only doctor's office afloat while she recovered. What began as a two-day stay stretched out indefinitely, forcing Jourdan to learn to "calmly register nice people with hard jobs who routinely came in covered in hog or chicken blood." Missing Washington, she wrestles with questions of courage and loyalty, belonging and identity, and living with meaning and purpose. The demands of her new job test her, from the drama of triaging the waiting room and the tedium of negotiating the Medicare coding system to the loss of several favorite patients. In the end, she finds that she is after all her parents' daughter, possessing strength that earned her mother the nickname " Sarge," as well as her father's selfless devotion to this working-poor community. Jourdan's dispatches from the reception desk make for a stirring, beautiful memoir that is alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, and ultimately a triumph. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

One day she's hearing congressional testimony and attending black-tie fund-raisers, the next she's filing Medicare forms and mopping up bodily fluids. As the [...] child of a country doctor and his receptionist wife, Jourdan respected her parents' selfless commitment of caring for the disenfranchised people of east Tennessee, but she reveled in her glitzy life as a superstar lawyer in Washington, DC. When her mother suffered a heart attack, however, Jourdan was called home to help out for a "few days" that quickly turned into weeks, then months. Faced with the dilemma of forsaking a high-powered career that could influence matters on a national level for a menial job that directly affected the lives of one small town, Jourdan was surprised to discover that 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 true humanity. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

By Louise Jolly TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 24 2011
Format: Paperback
This was a beautiful, serene, relaxing memoir and I absolutely adored this story! The characters are real and endearing, each of them carving out a special place in your heart. And what a gorgeous name of this town "Strawberry Plains", how delicious is that?

Writing about a small community where everyone knows everyone else and a hometown family physician, family run is also what makes this memoir so intriguing. Jourdan writes about her experiences in her father's medical practice with honesty, integrity, humour, and with a compassionate flair for the people they treat. No big office buildings with opulent furniture and expensive decorating and big medical bills to match. Back to a time when the town Doctor often didn't charge his patients if he knew they were indigent, and sometimes accepting "other" payments like a day of squirrel watching on the property of a man who wasn't quite right in his mind. Such a show of respect, compassion, and understanding on the part of Dr. Jourdan was a true showing of his moral beliefs and lessons he never forgot and applied to the very special patients in his practice.

Carolyn Jourdan has written with such vividness that it was an easy slip into the pages to walk amongst the words and feel them, snuggle into them and experience the Great Smoky Mountain area just like the generations of family who have resided there for years and years. Jourdan mentioned penning a sequel to Heart in the Right Place and I certainly hope she continues with it and sees it through to completion. I'll be first in line to pick it up. I would highly, highly recommend this beautifully written memoir for all ages. This is the type of memoir that will stick with me forever.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This started out a bit cute but quickly became tiresome. The author was too cute by half and it just didnt play. It was one anecdote after another most of which were unbelievable and not even funny. I gave up after 25%.

I suggest the author get hold of DVDs of the wonderful British series Doc Martin to see how a quirky rural medical practice should be presented.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 314 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Think Sweet Home Alabama meets James Harriott with a little Marcus ... Dec 18 2015
By Hall - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought I had already read all of Carolyn Jourdan's books, but was tickled to find out that there was one I had missed. Such a story of angst and resolve. She is torn between the stellar legal/political career she has spent her life building and the selfless character instilled by her hardworking parents. Through it all she mixes in a healthy dose of humor. She manages to illustrate the craziness of human nature, especially evident in a backwoods little town. Think Sweet Home Alabama meets James Harriott with a little Marcus Welby mixed in for good measure. Hated to come to the last page!
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book with heart ! Aug. 19 2016
By Chabucagranda - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It really makes you think about what is important in life and how to set your priorities straight. And how to look at life right in the eye and decide what is important in life for you and reinvent your life to reflect what you believe in and set your course with the right star s o you don't get lost. Enjoy !
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart in the Right Place beats strong and steady with the love needed every day. July 9 2016
By Sandra - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed this delightful, heart warming memoir. With so much to instill stress in our world today being able to get into a place in the world where care for each other is the most important part of life, makes dealing with the angst go away for awhile and lift one's spirits.
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story! Oct. 7 2016
By RSC - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was our book club selection this month! What a great choice. It is well written, heart-warming, and funny. Highly recommend this book.
91 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, inspirational, and unputdownable!!!! Aug. 18 2007
By Maudeen Wachsmith - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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 Amazon'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 lives 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.