Heart in the Right Place

Heart in the Right Place

Book - 2007 | 1st ed
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Workman Press.
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.


Baker & Taylor
Describes how the author, a successful attorney in Washington, D.C., returned to her Tennessee hometown to take on the job of receptionist at her father's tiny rural doctor's office while her mother recovered from a heart attack.

Blackwell North Amer
Carolyn Jourdan had it all: the Mercedes Benz, the fancy soirees, the best clothes. She moved in the most exclusive circles in Washington, D.C., 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 billed.
Eventually 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.

Baker
& Taylor

Describes how the author, a successful attorney who worked with some of America's most powerful people in Washington, D.C., returned to her Tennessee hometown to take on the job of receptionist at her father's tiny rural doctor's office while her mother recovered from a heart attack.

Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781565124875
1565124871
Branch Call Number: B Jourdan, Carolyn JOU
Characteristics: 297 p. ; 23 cm

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Hindman
Jan 15, 2015

I do not read a lot. So am particular about what I do read. This was a fun little book filled with Americana. It will leave you wondering how much of this still exists in our country today and is it too late for me to expand on what remains? Fun, funny, comforting, frustrating, kick yourself in the butt motivating. The best quick read you will have this year.

c
canarymom
May 02, 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed this book!! Carolyn writes with such humor about the people she grew up with in her small town-it certainly has it share of characters! She puts the reader at ease so they can be a part of the life of the only doctors office in a small rural town in East Tennessee. A very easy read-you won't want to put it down!

j
june2813
Jul 04, 2011

Carolyn Jourdan has crafted a warm and gentle memoir reminding us all things large and glamorous may not have the impact of the small and mundane. Sometimes life is just about "showing up." Carolyn leaves her high-powered Washington DC job behind and returns to her tiny Appalachian hometown to cover for her ailing mother as receptionist for her doctor father's practice for a few days. The few days stretch into a year and a journey she comes to love. Carolyn finds she's changed more than just her job, she's changed her entire way of thinking about who she is, about life, and what really matters.
"Heart in the Right Place" is a fast easy read permeated throughout with earthy good humor and amusing and touching characters. There's plenty of home grown philosophical pondering that invites the reader to do some serious thinking along with the author. It's a little book that continues to resonate in the mind and heart long after you sign off on the last chapter.

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