We are adding another giveaway today to our typical Wednesday contest in honor of announcing the Big Bloggy Giveaway of Books winner. We had over 800 entries, and the winner was #401 Molly Capel. Congrats! And I hope that those of you who were interested in 201 Things to Do When Children Say “I’m Bored” will consider supporting the mom-preneur and buying the book. It really is awesome.
All I really want to say is, “This book is amazing. Go out and get a copy it. Read it immediately. Then come back and thank me.” However, I suspect you would be curious to know a bit more about it. I’ll try to oblige so long as you keep in mind what I really want to say about this book. Deal?
I tend to shy away from memoirs as a general rule. The idea of someone telling me about their personal life story when their life isn’t quite over yet is strangely unappealing to me. I mean, I don’t mind listening to people tell me about things they’ve done or adventures they’ve had. But reading about it almost makes me feel like I’m being trapped in a room with a self-absorbed human who won’t let me leave until they’ve told me about everything they think and feel. In teensy tiny detail. Not so with Heart in the Right Place.
This is the story of Carolyn Jourdan, who gives up her job as an attorney on Capitol Hill, to return to her childhood home in sticksville Tennessee to help her parents out after her mom suffers a heart attack. Her father and mother have co-labored together for over forty years in this small mountain town to take care of the sick in their area. Carolyn’s father is a country doctor in every way you could possibly imagine him to be. Her mother was his loyal receptionist until her heart attack. This is not just a story of how Carolyn left the big city to return to her backwoods Tennessee roots. This is the story of her father’s love and labor in this community. This is the story about a woman who at first wanted to be anywhere but in her father’s office, who came to realize the importance of human lives and the value of community and love. I really enjoyed her family’s story.
This book made me want to learn about Tennessee. This book made me want to grow a garden, listen to someone’s long story while rocking in a wooden rocking chair, made me want to see a fainting goat (a what, you ask?!) and assured me yet again that I will never be qualified to work in a medical establishment of any sort. (Thank you, Lord, for gifting other people with medical know-how and thank you for not making me one of them!)
This isn’t just a “when times were simpler” type of story. It’s a reflection on what it means to pursue the things that are the most important in life. Not all parts of this story are happy but even the sad moments are comforting somehow. Further, Jourdan’s style of writing in a self-deprecating manner makes the entire book just a kick in the pants. I really just totally loved it and am having a hard time not reverting to my opening remarks! It’s a clean read (a few language issues but nothing remotely overwhelming), fun, entertaining, informative and is a good motivator for feeling grateful about who you are, what your talents are, and what your own personal life situation is. It’s a “grateful” read in that I’m grateful to have read it and am grateful that I am me.
I’m gonna stop talking now so that you can just go get your own copy of Heart in the Right Placeand start reading it for yourself. Trust me. You’ll be grateful too!
If you’d like to win a copy (U.S. shipping addresses only), leave a comment here. We’ll draw a winner on February 11.
Carrie comes by her book obsession honestly, having descended from a long line of bibliophiles. She blogs about books regularly at Reading to Know.