Excerpt from Heart in the Right Place by Carolyn Jourdan, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Heart in the Right Place

A Memoir

by Carolyn Jourdan

Heart in the Right Place
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2007, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2008, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Then he looked at me with his head tilted. “What’s that sound,” he said.

“I don’t hear anything,” I said, trying to stay focused on the opening pleasantries of my business conversation.

He laid his biscuit down next to his cup of coffee and walked down the hall toward the back. I heard him pause at the doorway of Room 3 and say, “Good morn . . .” Then he shouted, “What the hell’s going on in here?”

“Gotta go,” I said, hanging up on the Director while she was talking. Then I bolted for the back.

Things were not the way I’d left them. The surgical table’s motor, normally a low-pitched, almost inaudible hum, had changed to an angry whine. The head of the table was tilted as high as it would go, over five feet in the air, and the foot was down, almost touching the floor. Miss Viola had slid into a little wad at the lower end. Herma and Helma were frantically struggling to keep her from falling onto the floor, but she was oblivious. She smiled serenely as Herma tugged on her arms and Helma hoisted her ankles.

I couldn’t understand why this was happening. It sounded like someone was standing on a cat’s tail. I looked down reflexively and noticed that Herma had somehow come to be standing on the floor pedal that raised the head end of the table. She clearly didn’t realize what she was doing, nor could she hear the table motor running.

Daddy shouted a one-word accusation, “Carolyn!” and leapt forward to snatch up Miss Viola. As she slipped off the end of the table, her dress peeled up over her head. He tried to set her on her feet, but she was so dizzy she couldn’t stand by herself. He told Herma to get her foot off the control pedal, but she couldn’t hear well enough to understand what he was saying.

He made a series of shuffling hops sideways, crushing Viola tightly against his side, and startled Herma by lifting her bodily off the pedal with his other arm. He held one lady under each arm while he stomped on the “Head Down” control.

All of this confusion and man-handling sent the sisters into a tizzy. And Daddy was incensed that anyone would dare touch the controls of his table, much less put such a terrible strain on it.

“What’d you do that for?” Daddy shouted at Herma in a voice so thunderous that she finally heard him.

“Do what? I didn’t do anything! Your table there is broken!”

“It better not be!” he said.

When the table was level again, he plopped Miss Viola back down in the center and flipped her dress down over her legs. She seemed neither startled nor embarrassed. In fact, she seemed to have missed the whole ordeal.

Under the circumstances Daddy decided to go ahead and tend to Miss Viola’s medical problems before normal office hours. He patiently listened to all three ladies’ health concerns and wrote prescriptions all round.

As the ladies drove away, Daddy went back to his sausage biscuit. He stared at me while he chewed and then said, “Don’t ever do that again.”

“Don’t do what?” I said. “Don’t leave any old ladies alone with any of your stuff?”

“Just don’t do it again,” he snapped and took his biscuit into the back to eat it in peace.

We were both under a lot of stress.

A few minutes later, Alma, Daddy’s nurse, confided that during her entire twelve years with the doctor she’d never heard him shout like that before.

“Well, just stick with me,” I said, “I’ve been with him for forty years and I’ve been hearing it the whole time.”

Copyright (c) Carolyn Jourdan 2006-2007. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Barkskins
    Barkskins
    by Annie Proulx
    Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, is not a book to read quickly. After a month of slow reading, I ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Marriage of Opposites
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's latest work, The Marriage of Opposites, is a historical fiction novel focusing on ...
  • Book Jacket: Miss Jane
    Miss Jane
    by Brad Watson
    National Book Award Finalist Brad Watson returns with an intimate novel about one woman's journey to...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Falling
    by Jane Green

    "Readers who enjoy a love story with heart will adore this tale of homecoming and transformation." - LJ

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Miss Jane
    by Brad Watson

    "Starred Review. Sensitive, beautifully precise prose. Highly recommended." - PW

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Fair Fight
by Anna Freeman

A page-turning novel set in the world of 18th century female pugilists.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!