BOOK REVIEW – HEART IN THE RIGHT PLACE

 

It’s been some time since I’ve posted regularly on my blog. I’m still around, still writing, and still reading. A friend lent me a gem of a book recently with the words, “I want this one back.” That meant only one thing–a gem sat waiting for me in on my “To Be Read” pile.

When I finished, it hit me. I miss telling others about the books I’ve read, especially if the book resonates with me. I love sharing and perhaps offering the gift of a lovely read to another inveterate reader.

Interested yet? If not, maybe some particulars will help.

Consider a familiar adage – you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.

That’s the simple premise of this memoir and the realization of it by Carolyn Jourdan who grew up in a rural community in east Tennessee in the Appalachian Mountains. She’s the only child of the country doctor and his assistant wife, but she leaves the town to attend law school and later pursue a career as a high-powered attorney in D.C. When her mother suffers a heart attack and can’t assist in the good doctor’s office, Carolyn agrees to come home and fill in for her mother for a few days. After all, a rural doctor can’t shut his office doors, not even for a heart attack.

Life has a funny way of working even with the best plans, and the few days ends up being much longer. The book follows the four seasons of a year and at the end of that year, her mother hasn’t returned to the office, and Carolyn is still answering phones and making everyone comfortable in the waiting room while waiting to be seen by her father. From Washington attorney to office receptionist is a challenge because there is so much she doesn’t know about human nature and life.

The memoir  reads as if it’s a novel. The characters who enter the lobby of her father’s practice are quirky, intriguing, and funny. And they understand what is important in the life we’ve been handed. By the end of the year, she’s come away with some important knowledge that can only be learned by observing and living.

“We had to take what we were and what we had and do the best we could with them. There were no extra bonus points for visibility or magnitude. I’d always aimed for the big score, but now I understood better.”

Heart in the Right Place is a delightful read that reminded me about the important things. I found one of the characters plucked from the pages of real life to hold the key. I want to tattoo the words on the slate of my mind so I always remember them. To do the right thing by others doesn’t require money or even words. It only requires that we

SHOW UP

As with most things in life, it’s simple. Another character states, “The most important things don’t look like much.” It’s true. Showing up for another person doesn’t seem like much. It could be a card mailed, an errand run, a flower picked, a cookie baked, or even simpler. Hold the door open at the bank, grab a box for someone who can’t reach the top shelf at the grocery store, or give up a seat on the bus. It doesn’t look like much, but it means the world to the person on the receiving end.

About Carolyn Jourdan from her Amazon Author Page: USA Today, Audible, and 5-Time Wall Street Journal best-selling author of heartwarming memoir, biography, and mystery – Jourdan chronicles miracles, mayhem, and madcap moments in Appalachian medicine, as well as zany and touching interactions with wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Jourdan’s trademark blend of wit and wisdom, humor and humanity have earned her high praise from Dolly Parton and Fannie Flagg, as well as major national newspapers, the New York Public Library, Elle, Family Circle Magazine, and put her work at the top of hundreds of lists of best books of the year and funniest books ever.

Carolyn is a former U.S. Senate Counsel to the Committee on Environment and Public Works and the Committee on Governmental Affairs. She has degrees from the University of Tennessee in Biomedical Engineering and Law. She lives on the family farm in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, with many stray animals.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s