Reviews & Buzz
7-Time national best selling author of Biography, Memoir, & Mystery
USA Today Best Seller Out on a Limb in 2017. A Best Kindle Book of 2014.
#9 Wall Street Journal Best Seller Heart in the Right Place in 2017.
#7 NYT-Audible Best Seller Bear in the Back Seat in 2016.
#6 Wall Street Journal Best Seller Medicine Men in 2015.
#5 Wall Street Journal Best Seller Medicine Men in 2014.
#9 Wall Street Journal Best Seller Bear in the Back Seat in 2013.
#7 Wall Street Journal Best Seller Heart in the Right Place in 2012.
Heart in the Right Place Awards & Reviews
Chosen for a City-Wide Read in Lansing, MI, 2010
- Most popular city-wide read in Lansing’s history
- Chosen for community Big Reads and by hundreds of private and library-based book clubs
A Best Book Club Book of 2008
- Book Sense, American Booksellers Association, Independent Bookstores
- A #1 Nonfiction Pick in the Nation
Great Books about Extraordinary People 2010
- Great Books, Great Libraries
- Chosen by over 100 Libraries for Book Clubs and for City-Wide Big Reads
A Best Book of 2008
- The Literary Guild, Featured Selection of Most Major National Book Clubs
- 5 Star Bestseller at Amazon, Tower, Barnes and Noble
A Pick of the Year and A Top 5 Most Fun Book (Ever)
Family Circle Magazine
- First EVER Book of the Month for Family Circle
- Awarded Elle Readers Prize
- Great Readers Advisory
Top Summer Read
- New York Public Library (and Brooklyn and Queens)
- Chapters Indigo (Canada’s largest bookseller)
- CBS Boston WBZ
- Seattle Post Intelligencer
Bestselling Memoir at Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, and Tower
Featured in Family Circle, More, and Elle Magazine!
Starred Review in Publishers Weekly — “Jourdan’s dispatches from the reception desk make for a stirring, beautiful memoir that is alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, and ultimately a triumph.”
Satellite Sisters Radio Book Club Book of the Month and a Featured Selection of Doubleday Book Club, Literary Guild, and DearReader.com.
“Heartwarming, funny and utterly appealing.”
Fannie Flagg —Author of Fried Green Tomatoes
“This is a wonderful book. I would have enjoyed it even if Carolyn wasn’t a neighbor of mine in East Tennessee. She is a great writer.”
Dolly Parton —Singer, Songwriter, and Actress
“Heart in the Right Place … has stayed with me beyond my expectations … valuable lessons in humility, what’s important in life, each person’s universal struggle to just do their best and how there is beauty and fulfillment in every job – no matter how glorified or mundane … passages … have stayed with me for weeks now.
This book is a keeper. I’ve ordered several copies to give as Christmas presents as it was so touching and wonderful. I started the book one evening after dinner and closed it at 3AM feeling very humbled and touched by this woman’s life and the lessons she shared with her readers…. it’s absolutely riveting.
There is humor, pathos, awestruck revelations (fear not!) and true inner introspection within the pages of this story – it’s one that will stay with you for a long time. And it’s beautifully written on top of all that!
Hope you will find the book and read it too – it was just so wonderful that I can’t recommend it more highly.”
Victoria Magazine On My Bookshelf —Pippa2843 in Colorado
“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 —Booklist
“Heart in the Right Place does for the medical community what James Herriot’s classic All Creatures Great and Small did for the veterinary one. A blend of science and soul, the story of the Jourdan family’s devotion to their rural community is one of compassion, wisdom, and wit. A beautiful, compelling true story.”
Marty Becker, D.V.M. —Resident veterinarian on ABC TV’s Good Morning America, host of The Pet Doctor on PBS, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist with Universal Press, and author of 11 books, including The Healing Power of Pets.
“Heart in the Right Place was so wonderful…you should immediately run out and buy it! Jourdan is one of those authors who make you wish she were your next-door neighbor, and her book is one of those books you want to buy to give to everybody you care about.”
Alison C. Jameson —Little Epiphanies Blogger, reviewer for Elle
“What a great memoir about a young woman coming home to a rural community to help (temporarily) with her dad’s medical practice while her mother recovers from a heart attack. Although Jourdan is a top-notch attorney in Washington, D.C., she was in over her head as the receptionist for this rural medical office.”
Patricia Worth, River Reader, Lexington, MO —Book Sense Pick for July 2007
“Heart In The Right Place reaches out and touches the core of the reader. Delightful, insightful and inspirational… beautifully written … challenges us to rethink our goals, values and perceptions … will stay with you long after the book has been snugly tucked away on the shelf.”
RJ McGill, 3Rs, Blogger News Network, Amazon
“I’m not a big fan of memoirs, but checked this out under duress from the local librarian. A few pages in, though, I was hooked. … Without a doubt, the best book I’ve read in 2007. 5 Stars. ”
Madame Pince , Powell’s Bookstore
“…[W]ell seasoned with salt-of-the-earth characters and new insights both touching and profound. With touches of ER, Mayberry, and the writings of James Herriot, this sweet and restorative volume is just what the doctor ordered!”
Joe Drabyak—Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA, also for BookSense
“[A]n absolute delight of a book: warm, funny and written with great heart and understanding. It is alive with characters who are as unbelievable as they are real — and their reality reveals how community, family and friendships build connections that run much deeper and matter far more than all the high-power deals, plans and programs of politicians and lobbyists.”
Howard Shirley —BookPage
“This is a soul-touching memoir filled with memorable Southern characters, plus plenty of country humor, but mostly a memoir about character — the transformative power of selfless acts in forgotten places far from the spotlight.”
John Marshall —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Jourdan’s tone is heartfelt without being preachy and frequently funny without being trite. Readers struggling to reconcile their practices with their beliefs will find Jourdan’s memoir to be as much a blueprint for change as it is a satisfying recollection of one person’s journey to fulfillment.”
L. Elisabeth Beattie —Louisville Courier Journal
“Heart in the Right Place provided laugh out loud humor to me while on the treadmill (although too much laughing while running can be dangerous … ) … I have been recommending this book to friends telling them some of the humorous anecdotes within, but it is the deeper meaning … that will keep this story in my memory. ”
Tina Ristau —Des Moines Register
“James Herriot was my J.K. Rowling and I have never come across another writer quite like him since, so it was a very happy surprise to open the unprepossessing covers of Heart in the Right Place to discover the observant wit and wisdom of Herriot lives on in Carolyn Jourdan’s true tales of life among the people of rural Tennessee – people as eccentric, tough, stubborn and stoical as the Yorkshire farmers of Herriot’s time.”
Davina Morgan-Witts —BookBrowse and Southern Voice.com
“You’ll hurry to get to the ending, then re-read. What an engaging read! This memoir chronicles the transition from Washington lawyer back home to a rural medical practice. Carolyn is a new author who brings the personalities of the doctor’s patients to life. Through the book, we come to know and love Carolyn and her community of characters from rural Tennessee. The technical detail about the medical practice of a country doctor, with occasional visits to the nearby big city hospital, makes for an engaging and informative read. This is a wonderful gift book for men as well as women.”
5 Stars —Arlene Garrison, Reader, The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs
“This is a sort of not-to-be-missed All Creatures Great and Small of the Appalachians, except most of the creatures are human…..a wondrous glimpse of a dying mountain culture and the dying art of the family practitioner-surgeon.”
Andrea Brunais —Tampa Tribune
“This is the true, really funny, inspirational story of a woman who climbed down the ladder of success. … Be prepared to laugh out loud, to empathize, to admire when you read this real story of science and heart and compassion.”
Karen Thompson —The State, Columbia, SC
“…reminded me of a James Herriot book about people instead of animals — but it’s much more than that.”
Cindy Reinhardt—University Book Store, Seattle, WA
Memorbable Memoir, 2007-2008 Book Sense Reading Group Pick
“A Good Read.”
Auckland, New Zealand Library
“[A]n absorbing account of a personal journey…will make you laugh, question, and give thanks…beautifully written in a style that is direct and true…about the culture chasm that divides our nation’s capital from our nation’s families. It tells about health care delivery in rural America today, illuminating medical practice in the hills and hollows of East Tennessee the same way James Herriot’s books illuminated veterinary practice in the hills and dales of Yorkshire. It will transport you to the quietly spectacular scenery of the Smokey Mountains’ foothills. And, for anyone thinking of a career change, it is a far better guide and inspiration than most self-help books.”
Andrée Sophia Blumstein—Tennessee Bar Journal
“Carolyn Jourdan’s amusing but poignant spiritual journey into what is really most important in life does not disappoint. … Her descriptions of the parade of eccentric but lovable characters through her father’s small country medical practice leave the reader completely absorbed into the story and wanting more. By the end of the story a realization sets in – success is not measured by fame, money, or location of residence – but by the small, although significant, differences for the better we make in other’s lives.”
Tammy G. —PaperbackSwap.com & BookMooch.com, reviewer for Elle
“Great book, I hope she does a sequel! I loved this book. Its anecdotes were funny and heartwarming without making me feel like I was reading Chicken Soup for the Soul stories. … I could relate to her initial feeling that she’d come down in the world. You realize how most people (including yourself) really do define others by their jobs or status, and by so doing, miss out on getting to know a lot of wonderful human beings. … I’m going to send a copy of this to book to my girlfriend … I know she will love it too.”
Cheeto Girl —Amazon.com
“This is one of the best books I have ever read. I am keeping it forever. Carolyn Jourdan writes so honestly, and with humor and wisdom. I have rarely felt that I knew any characters in any book as well as I know her characters. … Loved the book. You will, too.”
Cathy ML —Amazon.com Reviewer (Portland, OR)
“This book struck me as a cross between Erma Bombeck & James Herriot, heartwarming and funny and leaves you longing for a small-town America that is almost extinct. I thought it was perfect and I hope Ms. Jourdan continues to write.”
Booksie Galore —Amazon.com Reviewer (Arkansas)
“This book will make a great movie, and I will be the first in line to buy tickets. This is a mainstream book, not labeled in any way ‘inspirational,’ but the truths in the telling of a caring country doctor will leave the reader with unforgettable thoughts. … What a golden nugget this is. Read it over and over again and then share the words. Heart in the Right Place will not be out for a few weeks, but you will want to put your order in at your bookstore. It’s a great gift for both Father’s Day and Mother’s Day.”
Velma Daniels —PolkOnline, Readers Digest and Guideposts author
“Can a high-profile U.S. Senate counsel, a brainy lawyer with ‘all the external indicators of success,’ find satisfaction as the receptionist in her father’s rural Tennessee medical practice? Carolyn Jourdan’s beautiful memoir . . . keeps you turning pages for all the country color of the mostly impecunious patients, but the real theme is Jourdan’s struggle to make her life count. She had felt right about some of her work in Washington, working conscientiously for the public good. But in her father’s office, she makes a different kind of difference, helping people at the bottom, listening to them as though their concerns matter no less than those of some ambassador, cabinet secretary or senator.”
Ralph Bowden—NashvilleScene.com, Our Critics Picks
“[Will] appeal to anyone who enjoys sweet stories with quirky characters such as the Mitford series by Jan Karon or anyone who loves 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.”
Maudeen Wachsmith, An Amazon Top Reviewer, Port Townsend, WA
“Jourdan’s account of her year at home is wonderful. It is funny, touching, and heartbreaking all at the same time. Her decision as to whether she should stay in Tennessee or go back to D.C. is completely wrenching. Highly recommend.”
RW, Rocky River Public Library “Reading Room,” a Top 10 Public Library
“… heartwarming and hilarious…You’ll fall in love with this story about family, community, and coming home…reminding us that the best heroes are the ones living right beside us!”
The Satellite Sisters —Satellite Sisters Radio Book of the Month Club
“This book proves that yes, you can go home again and that quality of life is much better than quantity in life! Five Diamonds in the Tiara.”
Kathy Patrick —THE Pulpwood Queen, SouthernLiving.com
“…like having a piece of pie for breakfast….The fun factor is in big supply, with generous helpings of humor…a delight to read.”
Anne Stinson —Star Democrat , Easton, MD
“This beautiful, heartwarming memoir will have you laughing out loud…. Packed with humor, wit and tenderness, this memoir is a love story about family, community and that place called home…. [I]t could be called a perfect light summer reading choice, were it not so much more than that.”
Mae Woods Bell —Rocky Mount Telegram , Rocky Mount, NC
“Sometimes the best memoirs don’t come from famous people.”
Cynthia Murphy —Salsbury Post , NC
“If it sounds like one of those feel-good Hallmark movies that unaviodably pop up around the holidays, it’s not. Heart in the Right Place is the story of a woman who wholeheartedly accepted a major lifestyle change and all the positives and negatives that came along with it.”
Dawn McNutt —Decatur Daily , AL
“5 Stars. Please do yourselves a favor and read this book!!!”
Deb Y —BookBrowse.com
“There was laughter and tears throughout, as these very ‘real’ authors told their stories … I looked around and realized that people were feeling as moved and satisfied as I was. My very favorite salon was titled Family Dearest. Carolyn Jourdan was amazing; funny, down to earth, honest, and so, so human.”
Book Group Expo —San Jose, CA
“What makes Heart in the Right Place so darn readable is Jourdan’s lean and conversational prose. She doesn’t waste words.
She writes as if you’ve invited her over to the house on a spring afternoon. You’re sitting on the front porch swing sipping tea. Jourdan’s telling her story as the hours while away.
And because this story touches something so recognizably human within you, all the fears of this book becoming a sugarcoated study in sentimentality fade away after the third page. When I read the flyleaf, I thought, Oh, God, not another feel-good, ‘I changed my life’ story.
No, no. Don’t worry. This book is something quite different. Jourdan’s tale is real. It’s honest. It’s what we hope we’d do given similar circumstances.”
Jake Mabe —The Shopper, TN
“[A]wesome…It’s funny and sad all at one. I loved it and read it so fast.”
Katrina —All the Pink All the Time Blog, Ohio
“Carolyn Jourdan’s compelling memoir is by turns hilarious, sobering, and wise.”
Kate Whouley —Author of Cottage for Sale, Must Be Moved
“A keen eye for what is heroic and extraordinary about the seemingly ordinary sets Jourdan’s writing apart and gives her book insight and meaning.”
Gwendolyn Bounds —Author of Little Chapel on the River
“…an awesome, funny memoir…family, identity, and rural medicine issues.”
Kimberly—Resisting the Script Blog
“The book was picked last week by the Satellite Sisters as their book of the month. They interviewed the author and I loved her and went and got the book and am loving the book too.”
Dancing with the Stars Forum
“5 Stars. I enjoyed reading this book! Heart in the Right Place is captivating, humorous, and heartwarming. I loved getting to know all of author’s father’s patients. She has a great family. ”
Sheila M — BookReporter.com
“5 Stars A very entertaining book. Wonderful mixture of comedy and family love. Perfect cross between the Beverly Hillbillies and MASH. Would make a great movie!”
Review on Overstock.com
“A delight — All Creatures Great and Small combined with Northern Exposure, and a bit of Deliverance (the clean parts) thrown in for flavor.”
The Church Mouse, Shadyside Presbyterian Church Newsletter, Pittsburgh, PA
Used in medical schools, universities, colleges, and secondary schools to teach medical ethics, psychology, and literature! Also available in Braille.
Unabridged audio version available from Audible.
German translation available from Verlag Freies Geistesleben as Das Herz am rechten Fleck.