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.
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.