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We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Memoir

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How her daughter and her passport taught Jennifer Coburn to forget about dying and truly live Jennifer Coburn has always been terrified of dying young. It's the reason she drops everything during the summers on a quest to travel through Europe with her daughter, Katie, before it's too late. Even though her husband can't join them, even though she's nervous about the journey How her daughter and her passport taught Jennifer Coburn to forget about dying and truly live Jennifer Coburn has always been terrified of dying young. It's the reason she drops everything during the summers on a quest to travel through Europe with her daughter, Katie, before it's too late. Even though her husband can't join them, even though she's nervous about the journey, and even though she's perfectly healthy, she spends three to four weeks per trip jamming Katie's mental photo album with memories. In this heartwarming generational love story, Jennifer reveals how their adventures helped relinquish her fear of dying...for the sake of living.


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How her daughter and her passport taught Jennifer Coburn to forget about dying and truly live Jennifer Coburn has always been terrified of dying young. It's the reason she drops everything during the summers on a quest to travel through Europe with her daughter, Katie, before it's too late. Even though her husband can't join them, even though she's nervous about the journey How her daughter and her passport taught Jennifer Coburn to forget about dying and truly live Jennifer Coburn has always been terrified of dying young. It's the reason she drops everything during the summers on a quest to travel through Europe with her daughter, Katie, before it's too late. Even though her husband can't join them, even though she's nervous about the journey, and even though she's perfectly healthy, she spends three to four weeks per trip jamming Katie's mental photo album with memories. In this heartwarming generational love story, Jennifer reveals how their adventures helped relinquish her fear of dying...for the sake of living.

30 review for We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tommeh Bell

    The Nitty Gritty: Jennifer Coburn is a woman feeling the icy breath of the Grim Reaper down her back. The death of her father at the age of 19 introduced her to death far earlier than she would have liked. Though with his weed addiction and smoking habits I cannot fathom why she was not prepared for his passing. Her fear of death prompted her to abandon real life, her husband (only for the summers spent traveling), snag her passport and daughter and trek through Europe like a star-eyed teenager s The Nitty Gritty: Jennifer Coburn is a woman feeling the icy breath of the Grim Reaper down her back. The death of her father at the age of 19 introduced her to death far earlier than she would have liked. Though with his weed addiction and smoking habits I cannot fathom why she was not prepared for his passing. Her fear of death prompted her to abandon real life, her husband (only for the summers spent traveling), snag her passport and daughter and trek through Europe like a star-eyed teenager seeking to truly find themselves, before she does the dance with the devil. This is the story of a perfectly healthy woman hellbent on learning to let go of her fear of dying, by learning to live. Opening Line:““Jail?!” my husband William shouted through the telephone.”” The Good: Any reason to get back to Europe and I’m on board. I grew up in the ancient ruins of Germany. Bavaria was my playground and I throughly enjoyed every minute of it. So much so that I am embarking on a masters program in the United Kingdom simply to reunite with Europe. Jennifer recalls that she has “never heard anyone talk about Paris without sighing,” the city of lights invokes a deep seeded love affair with all who grace her quaint streets and sidewalk cafes. I do love it when Americans embark on seeing more of the world. We are one of the few first world country where its citizens cannot recall all the state capitals let alone all the countries that make up Europe. The geographical education of our students is severally lacking and I for one think a healthy dose of traveling would do wonders to cure that. This book is a wonderful, little travelogue for those neophyte travelers who want a bit of hand holding as they experience their first overly aggressive TSA grope. The Bad: I myself, like many others, have sat down and written out a bucket list. After all I am only 33 and I feel that I have more than enough time to get all the things done that I want to before I die in a bed surrounded by my loving family, my collection of books and a life sized cutout of the 10th Doctor. So I understand the appeal of just getting up one day, saying ‘The hell with being a responsible adult’, snagging my passport and running off to find myself. Then reality sets in. I have bills to pay, responsibilities that don’t wait for me to find myself. Turning 18 is not just a mark of the passage of time. Its the closure of the childhood door. The time in every person’s life when they have to put on the mantle of adulthood and all the trappings that come with it. Though I have the responsibilities of an adult I do enjoy frequent flights of fancy into immature and childish things such as Spongebob Squarepants and Dylan’s Candy Bar. For me this book was the trip you fall into when you take bad acid. It just wasn’t realistic. This was a child’s petulant tantrum at having to experience real life. Instead of dealing with her problems she sets out on a series of avoidance trips that she undertakes under the guise of giving her daughter precious mother-daughter memories for her mental photo album. The opening gambit has our intrepid traveler calling home to alert her husband to her detention by the French police for jumping the fence to a locked playground. Her excuse for this crime? She didn’t understand the local culture. I am pretty sure that a locked door in the United States means do not enter the same as it does in France. I found this anecdote neither amusing nor enduring. I have been detained in a foreign country and merely annoying my jailer did not result in a I Love Lucy bit, nor a laughing matter to be shared at a dinner party of my closets friends. We’ll Always Have Paris, is the musing of a woman that needed to take advantage of the excellent healthcare she seemed to have had with all of her unnecessary doctor visits, to go see a mental health profession for her death obsession and her Munchausen Syndrome. Oh she masked it well with her witty quips and beautifully applied anecdotes, but I believe that Mrs. Coburn would have benefitted greatly from seeking the counsel of a trained professional. This memoir just didn’t resonate with me. When I think of memories of my mother, who is very much alive and kicking anything in sight, that I’ve squirreled away in my mental scrap book, the everyday life lessons and smiles far outweigh those spectacular Supermom moments. I can recall the scent of her favorite perfume which is no longer made more readily than I can our harrowing elevator ride into the salt mines of Hitler’s Eagle Nest in the mountains of Germany. I can rattle off her favorite episodes of Murder, She Wrote easier than reciting her favorite Germany haunts on the streets of Stuttgart. I concede that possibly I’m not her target audience as I grew up in Europe, and walking along the Rhine River were an every day occurrence for me and thus are not part of my bucket list, but I like to think that I should still be treated to a terrific story nonetheless. Final Thoughts: Jennifer Coburn, much like Michael Bay, thought a lot of explosions and splashes help people to remember your story. Contrary to popular belief, that just makes it harder to see as you stumble blindly down memory lane. I will always remember Paris, but after this book it might not be with such fond memories.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Allie Smith

    I love to travel, especially with my children. Seeing new places together is always fun and introducing them to places I love is a personal thrill. I also treasure the memories we create together, and the camaraderie that we share, which can’t be duplicated at home. On our journeys, it’s us against the world! So I was excited to read this travel memoir about the European adventures of a mother and her daughter. And I adore the title, We’ll Always have Paris. Continue reading at Chick Lit Central I love to travel, especially with my children. Seeing new places together is always fun and introducing them to places I love is a personal thrill. I also treasure the memories we create together, and the camaraderie that we share, which can’t be duplicated at home. On our journeys, it’s us against the world! So I was excited to read this travel memoir about the European adventures of a mother and her daughter. And I adore the title, We’ll Always have Paris. Continue reading at Chick Lit Central. http://www.chicklitcentral.com/2014/0...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Negin

    This memoir/travelogue wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be. The book alternates in what I thought was a rather tedious and predictable style, going back in the past remembering her musician hippy father and again forwarding to the present. It was mostly boring and made me fall asleep quickly several times.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Liane

    Jennifer Coburn, you had me at "Paris." In the introduction to this engaging memoir, Jennifer remarks that she has "never heard anyone talk about Paris without sighing." I'm no exception. As a francophile and lover of memoir, I was delighted to receive an advance review copy. Jennifer was still in her teens when she lost her father, and, she writes, has spent her adulthood "checking my rear-view mirror to see if the Grim Reaper is tailgaiting." Despite excellent health, she was convinced she too Jennifer Coburn, you had me at "Paris." In the introduction to this engaging memoir, Jennifer remarks that she has "never heard anyone talk about Paris without sighing." I'm no exception. As a francophile and lover of memoir, I was delighted to receive an advance review copy. Jennifer was still in her teens when she lost her father, and, she writes, has spent her adulthood "checking my rear-view mirror to see if the Grim Reaper is tailgaiting." Despite excellent health, she was convinced she too would die young, so was determined to jam-pack her daughter Katie's mental scrapbook with beautiful mother-daughter memories. To that end, she and her daughter spent several summer vacations traveling overseas. I suspect many of us will recognize ourselves in this description: "I don't need to be this happy at once, I thought. Can't I save some for later? A better part of me admonished that I should enjoy the experience now and stop searching for life's doggie bags." In thoughtful, frequently hilarious detail, Jennifer writes about letting go of that fear of death and learning how to enjoy her life. "Katie instinctively knew what I had struggled my entire life to grasp," she says. "And I still hadn't gotten it. Eluding me was the ability to focus on what I had, rather than what I had lost or could lose." A meditation on the meaning of family and memory, this funny, poignant memoir will have you reaching for your own passport.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Well, I feel a little bit split... The idea of traveling around Europe with your daughter, to create memories that will be recorded in her memory in case you die young, is just simply great. I really enjoyed the whole story. I loved the characters because they felt very real. I liked that in the midst of all the craziness of the trip there were some funny comments of Katie or some funny anecdotes. Also, I think that in some point of our lives we're all afraid to die young and be forgotten by our lo Well, I feel a little bit split... The idea of traveling around Europe with your daughter, to create memories that will be recorded in her memory in case you die young, is just simply great. I really enjoyed the whole story. I loved the characters because they felt very real. I liked that in the midst of all the craziness of the trip there were some funny comments of Katie or some funny anecdotes. Also, I think that in some point of our lives we're all afraid to die young and be forgotten by our loved ones, so this book was an excelent way to discover how you can live a day at a time and enjoy every day. But... -There is a small but- I would have liked to have more dialogues. At times, I wanted to know more of the story but I only knew it because of the character and not by the others. I wanted to have more participation from the others, but at certain points, I could only know what I thought the protagonist. At times, I think that was good because there were some flash backs that were extremely interesting and hilarious. I recommend this book for those who want to change their perspective about life and also for those who want to have a good reading time. I won this book through GoodReads and I thank to the author for providing me this copy but this fact didn't influence the review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Oh how I loved this memoir. It starts out charming and fun and witty (Mother and 8 year old daughter take a trip to Paris) but soon you realize how much deeper this goes. Excellent rumination on being both a parent and someone else's daughter, and how that all intertwines. Vivid descriptions of their travels (not just Paris) and tremendous character development. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and everything in between. So much depth here, while still being an easy read. The author should be proud of Oh how I loved this memoir. It starts out charming and fun and witty (Mother and 8 year old daughter take a trip to Paris) but soon you realize how much deeper this goes. Excellent rumination on being both a parent and someone else's daughter, and how that all intertwines. Vivid descriptions of their travels (not just Paris) and tremendous character development. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and everything in between. So much depth here, while still being an easy read. The author should be proud of her daughter, who seems one of the kindest, wisest young women out there. Wonderful devour-in-one-sitting read. Kind of makes me think my next trip will include just my girls, and not the husband. ;) A really touching read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Should be required reading for every mother out there! An honest, tender hearted memoir, about how a daughter can show a mother how to really live! We'll Always Have Paris is the memoir of Jennifer and her daughter Katie and their adventures through Europe. They start with Paris but end up traveling all over Europe. Fun adventures,disappointments, mishaps,and lessons learned along the way. These two woman grow up through their Paris trips together. They learn to appreciate the finer things in li Should be required reading for every mother out there! An honest, tender hearted memoir, about how a daughter can show a mother how to really live! We'll Always Have Paris is the memoir of Jennifer and her daughter Katie and their adventures through Europe. They start with Paris but end up traveling all over Europe. Fun adventures,disappointments, mishaps,and lessons learned along the way. These two woman grow up through their Paris trips together. They learn to appreciate the finer things in life that money can't buy such as seeing an historical monument even if it means running for the bus and leaving their luggage with foreigners. They learn that adventure is more about the experience and less about schedules. The second I got the email requesting a review of this book, I was so excited I just couldn't wait to start reading it. It took me a bit longer than I expected to get through it, only because I was (as usual) reading other books too. I also found myself back tracking and rereading certain sections of the book because I just wanted to laugh again or experience Paris again whichever way you look at it. I experienced a real connection as a mother to this book. I found myself thinking and feeling the same things Jennifer was feeling in the memoir. I was completely jealous that she was able to spend this much travel time with her daughter Katie and I found myself wondering when I would in fact be able to plan such a trip. I have put it on my bucket list and plan to follow through with it too. Like the roller coasters Jennifer describes enjoying with her father on Coney Island, this book took me on a ride from snorting giggles one moment to tear-filled eyes the next with few paragraphs in between. The story touches on Jennifer's childhood and mirrors her parents life at times during their journey. She touches on her sadness as a child spent with her mother and her father. She touches on sad memories, heartbreaking memories and even hilarious memories and through it all, we get to see the growth Jennifer is experiencing along the way. We'll Always Have Paris is a true gem that should be cherished by every mother, read to your daughter and remembered for years to come.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm

    Well, got fooled by reviews AGAIN. I was under the impression this book would be about this mom/daughter relationship as they travel throughout Europe and Korea. It was a little, but not all of it. It's a memoir of their travels, of Coburn's relationship with her father, and the sights, sounds, tastes and more of the places Coburn and her daughter see. In the hands of a better writer this would have been fantastic and funny. Instead? It comes across as insipid. Coburn sounds pretty self-centered, Well, got fooled by reviews AGAIN. I was under the impression this book would be about this mom/daughter relationship as they travel throughout Europe and Korea. It was a little, but not all of it. It's a memoir of their travels, of Coburn's relationship with her father, and the sights, sounds, tastes and more of the places Coburn and her daughter see. In the hands of a better writer this would have been fantastic and funny. Instead? It comes across as insipid. Coburn sounds pretty self-centered, naive, the sterotypical embarrassing American tourist abroad. I'm not sure if the author was trying to show how well she did not cope, whereas her daughter did, if the author had insecurities and issues to resolve or what. In any case, it's not well-written and I hated how the narrative flipped between the past, present and places in between (ie occasionally talking about what her husband and Katie's father is doing at home while they have adventures). I wanted to like it a lot. But there are MUCH better travel books. Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach for her journey in France and Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo by Matthew Amster-Burton (although his daughter isn't heavily featured). Skip this one. Library if you must.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    This memoir was less enjoyable than I anticipated, mostly because the descriptions of travel felt so one-dimensional. "We'll Always Have Paris" is a mother/daughter memoir that has a great premise - the author wants to "pack her daughter's suitcase with memories" mostly because she (the mother) has this complex that she's going to die young, since her father died young. There's a lot of development about her own father/daughter relationship, which was ultimately less interesting than the travel This memoir was less enjoyable than I anticipated, mostly because the descriptions of travel felt so one-dimensional. "We'll Always Have Paris" is a mother/daughter memoir that has a great premise - the author wants to "pack her daughter's suitcase with memories" mostly because she (the mother) has this complex that she's going to die young, since her father died young. There's a lot of development about her own father/daughter relationship, which was ultimately less interesting than the travel idea, but I went with it. What I disliked about the book the most is that I feel like the author didn't make that much of an effort on the trips to really immerse herself and her daughter in the overseas environment - she is obsessed with checking off every museum and monument that a place is known for off of her list, whereas her daughter makes more of an effort to enjoy herself and live in the moment. It was interesting to see her daughter's reactions at different ages, and I'm glad that her mother had her priorities straight (i.e. travel instead of redoing the bathroom). It could have been developed better but it was fun to read, even if not the most insightful or inspiring of travel memoirs. One last comment - great choice of title to "hook" a Francophile/soppy romantic perusing through a stack of library books.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    I absolutely loved We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Memoir by Jennifer Coburn! Jennifer decides to create memories for her daughter and sets out on trips to Europe over the course of eight years with just the two of them. The first and last trips were to Paris with London, Rome, Spain, and Amsterdam in between. I enjoyed the author's style of present and past, entwining her relationship with her father with that of her daughter. The process of Jennifer growing from a daughter who lost I absolutely loved We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Memoir by Jennifer Coburn! Jennifer decides to create memories for her daughter and sets out on trips to Europe over the course of eight years with just the two of them. The first and last trips were to Paris with London, Rome, Spain, and Amsterdam in between. I enjoyed the author's style of present and past, entwining her relationship with her father with that of her daughter. The process of Jennifer growing from a daughter who lost her father at a young age to a mother who is guiding her daughter in a positive direction was a joy to share. For me, it was the epitome of a memoir: just one or two topics of the author's life chosen and expanded, not a "birth until now" flow. This is one paperback copy I will keep and not donate to the local library. I highlighted so many places and added them to my "must see" list for my next trip to Europe, whenever that is!! Go Cards! L1C4!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kimberlee

    I LOVED this book! Such a funny and poignant book written through a mom's words of her travels with her daughter. Her recollections of Europe and its wonderful people were such a joy to read, having been on similar journeys myself. On a deeper level the stories she recounts of her travel help her come to terms with her own childhood and the untimely death of her father. At times I laughed out loud and had to read passages to my husband; other times I cried from empathizing with her pain. This wa I LOVED this book! Such a funny and poignant book written through a mom's words of her travels with her daughter. Her recollections of Europe and its wonderful people were such a joy to read, having been on similar journeys myself. On a deeper level the stories she recounts of her travel help her come to terms with her own childhood and the untimely death of her father. At times I laughed out loud and had to read passages to my husband; other times I cried from empathizing with her pain. This was one of those books that will stick with me a long, long time. To add to the joy of this book, since Jennifer is a local from San Diego, I had reached out to her on a whim and invited her to our book club meeting in December as we were to discuss her book. She graciously agreed to join us and the evening was nothing short of magical! Jennifer was funny, engaging and so, so kind as she recounted some of the stories and shared insights into her writing, as well as past and future projects. I LOVED having her join us and will hold this special night in my heart forever.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mom

    I have this bad habit of judging a book by its cover; sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. This book had a happy looking cover, some good comments, a good synopsis on the back, and it was about France (which I have a lifelong obsession with). How could you go wrong? Don't get me wrong, it was well written and I only found two grammatical errors, so that was good. However, I didn't realize that it was about multiple trips and in different countries other than France. Still not a reaso I have this bad habit of judging a book by its cover; sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. This book had a happy looking cover, some good comments, a good synopsis on the back, and it was about France (which I have a lifelong obsession with). How could you go wrong? Don't get me wrong, it was well written and I only found two grammatical errors, so that was good. However, I didn't realize that it was about multiple trips and in different countries other than France. Still not a reason to condemn this book, but I was disappointed because I know nothing of these other countries and could not relate to her experiences. The main problem with this book was that it was billed as a hilarious read and it was far from it. The author weaves her sorrow of losing her father throughout the book. It was hard to read at times because I was so heartbroken for her. When you read stories like these, it makes you feel so selfish for thinking that your life is bad. Please, if you are going to read this book make sure that you have a box of Kleenex close by.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan Gembrowski

    "We'll Always Have Paris" is an A+ book that allows the reader to gawk at Paris, London, Rome, Barcelona and Amsterdam through the eyes of a self-critical, yet genuinely funny, author. We climb the Eiffel Tower and trudge 30 stories up at the Sagrada Familia basilica with Jennifer Coburn and her young daughter, a girl wise beyond her years. We stand with them before masterpieces by Dali, Gaudi and Picasso, party with an Italian family and hike in Montserrat. The journey treats us to glimpses of "We'll Always Have Paris" is an A+ book that allows the reader to gawk at Paris, London, Rome, Barcelona and Amsterdam through the eyes of a self-critical, yet genuinely funny, author. We climb the Eiffel Tower and trudge 30 stories up at the Sagrada Familia basilica with Jennifer Coburn and her young daughter, a girl wise beyond her years. We stand with them before masterpieces by Dali, Gaudi and Picasso, party with an Italian family and hike in Montserrat. The journey treats us to glimpses of Coburn's formative years in New York City with an upwardly mobile, divorced mother and to the author's "real" life in San Diego with her patient and understanding husband. But the most poignant passages in the book are devoted to her quirky, almost-famous father, who died way too young.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Dilloway

    Our book club read this and we were all happy to read a memoir where we related to the narrator and didn't feel like telling her to just shut up, like we've done with others! LOL. It's not just about Paris but about several different European cities that Coburn takes her daughter to visit, staving off her own fears and insecurities about parenting/life/everything. I especially loved the flashbacks to NYC in the 70s as Coburn relates her messy but loving relationship with her somewhat unreliable Our book club read this and we were all happy to read a memoir where we related to the narrator and didn't feel like telling her to just shut up, like we've done with others! LOL. It's not just about Paris but about several different European cities that Coburn takes her daughter to visit, staving off her own fears and insecurities about parenting/life/everything. I especially loved the flashbacks to NYC in the 70s as Coburn relates her messy but loving relationship with her somewhat unreliable father, which has obviously informed her personhood and her parenting. Without this narrative, it'd be mostly travel vignettes, but this adds an unexpected and poignant layer.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

    The book just was so-so, although I started dreading the stories about interactions with her parents. When she insisted to take the cocoa from the tavern after the owner told her no - that was the point I lost complete interest in even finishing it. I rarely quit without finishing completely. It just rang stereotypical Americans in another culture where they learn nothing and just don't get "it". I have no idea how this got 5 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sandra McKenna

    A very entertaining read. I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir. Jennifer 's fabulous writing style is easy to read, and entertaining at the same time. Over the years she and her daughter take four different trips to Europe, beginning and ending in Paris. Finding it difficult to come to terms with her father's early death, there are several flashbacks to Jennifer 's own childhood. Well written and thoroughly recommended.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    A sweet and surprisingly funny memoir. Some might find it a bit self indulgent but I appreciated the gumption of this Mom who was determined to make memories with her daughter in Europe. Travels with my daughter are some of my best memories too! The joy of travel was balanced by the pain of loss in her reminiscences of her father..

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Great travel book! I also appreciated the way the author shares her exploration of the grief she was still challenged with 30 years after the death of her father. Very inspiring in both realms.

  19. 5 out of 5

    R.D. Kardon

    Funny, engaging and real I did not know exactly what to expect when I started reading this book. I was pleasantly surprised by how the author wove the memories she made in the present with her daughter and those of the past with her father. Coburn takes us all over Europe and New York, but mostly inside herself. She explores her own fears and loss along with Michelangelo 's David and the Eiffel Tower. Beautifully written, the reader will run to pack a bag and travel along!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    The reviews for this book fooled me into thinking it would be an incredibly heartwarming, funny and profound memoir. It was none of those and I'm frankly wondering what everyone else saw in this. In my mind, for a memoir to be good, the author either has to have a really interesting story to tell, or the author has to be able to tell the story in a really interesting way. Neither one was the case here. First of all, I somehow thought that this story was about an adult daughter and her mother tra The reviews for this book fooled me into thinking it would be an incredibly heartwarming, funny and profound memoir. It was none of those and I'm frankly wondering what everyone else saw in this. In my mind, for a memoir to be good, the author either has to have a really interesting story to tell, or the author has to be able to tell the story in a really interesting way. Neither one was the case here. First of all, I somehow thought that this story was about an adult daughter and her mother traveling together. That's probably my fault for misinterpreting the synopsis, but I really wasn't that interested in reading about a pre-teen. Second, the altering stories from past to present really annoyed me. There was little demarcation between the two, and quite frankly, I didn't care about all of her past-date woes with her family. I realize they somehow had something to do with the present-date stories, but I wanted to read a memoir about a mother and daughter traveling around Europe, not parental issues from the author's past. Finally, the storytelling, if you will, was downright boring. With the exception of some funny stories of things that happened to them in their travels, it was a snoozefest. Overall, this book was just ok - and I will not be recommending it to anyone.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie Harwood

    Wonderful, wonderful memoir of travelling outside your comfort zone, of relationships with our parents and as parents to our kids, of living and letting go.... this memoir gripped me from page one with Jennifer Coburn's warm wit, self-deprecating humor, and many many out-of-the-ordinary travel experiences. I've lived in Rome, Paris, London, and spent a lot of time in Amsterdam yet experiencing these cities through the author and her daughter's trips, each city felt brand new. The Amsterdam chapt Wonderful, wonderful memoir of travelling outside your comfort zone, of relationships with our parents and as parents to our kids, of living and letting go.... this memoir gripped me from page one with Jennifer Coburn's warm wit, self-deprecating humor, and many many out-of-the-ordinary travel experiences. I've lived in Rome, Paris, London, and spent a lot of time in Amsterdam yet experiencing these cities through the author and her daughter's trips, each city felt brand new. The Amsterdam chapter had me in tears and the whole book just shimmered like sunlight reflecting off the Seine. I'm keen to read her fiction novels now. And take more boat trips.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Cobbs

    Such a funny book! Like all parents and most adults, Coburn pretends her hardest to be a grown-up even while her daughter is the calm, sensible partner in their adventures. The author's hilarious sensibility will have you laughing first at her, then yourself. Not to be missed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    J.H. Moncrieff

    This was a tough one to rate...leaning toward 3.5 stars. I'm not sure combining light-hearted, funny anecdotes about the author traveling with her daughter and heartbreaking memories of losing her father too young really worked, but Coburn wrote both well. The trip portions were unnecessarily long sometimes, and not always interesting--the book probably would have benefitted from having about 70-100 pages cut. There was a lot of repetition. The strangeness of the subject matter makes me wonder if This was a tough one to rate...leaning toward 3.5 stars. I'm not sure combining light-hearted, funny anecdotes about the author traveling with her daughter and heartbreaking memories of losing her father too young really worked, but Coburn wrote both well. The trip portions were unnecessarily long sometimes, and not always interesting--the book probably would have benefitted from having about 70-100 pages cut. There was a lot of repetition. The strangeness of the subject matter makes me wonder if being afraid of death/coping with the loss of her father was the "gimmick" for this memoir, as every one seems to need some unusual hook these days. If so, it's too bad, because it would have been fine as a mom-and-daughter traveling story. Katie is very lucky to have a mother who gave her the gift of world travel.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pradnya K.

    It was wonderful. I got to know a lot about Europe. And the must-visit places. And artists. It shades light on the parents-child relationship and talks of family. Or lack of it. Wish to write a detailed review so that when I just want to remember it, I will have breadcrumbs to the experiences of my reading. I would definitely read it in parts in near future.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Nothing monumental here, but an enjoyable quick read. A fun and easy way to take a summer trip with out leaving town.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    I really did enjoy this one and the timing was perfect since we were on an international family vacation.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I liked this book and enjoyed reliving my own mother/daughter trip in Europe. I thought she did a good job weaving her own past in to relative parts of her travel experience.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bethany R.

    Very fun and easy.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Robin Malone

    I was given a copy of this book from the Author, Jennifer Coburn, in exchange for an honest review. The Review First off, I have to say, this isn’t my normal read. It is a memoir of the Author and her daughter Katie’s trips to various places and also about Jennifer’s journey to find herself. When it was first brought to my attention, my first response was “I’m sorry this isn’t my typical read, but thank you for asking!”. Then Jennifer mentioned what it was about and it hit pretty close to home, so I was given a copy of this book from the Author, Jennifer Coburn, in exchange for an honest review. The Review First off, I have to say, this isn’t my normal read. It is a memoir of the Author and her daughter Katie’s trips to various places and also about Jennifer’s journey to find herself. When it was first brought to my attention, my first response was “I’m sorry this isn’t my typical read, but thank you for asking!”. Then Jennifer mentioned what it was about and it hit pretty close to home, so I found myself saying “Yes”. This isn’t just a memoir of a mother and daughter’s travels…this is one about Jennifer’s childhood. One that included a hippy, eccentric father who died from Cancer when she was only in college. Losing him left her in a state of shock, guilt, fear and paranoia. The fear of dying and leaving Katie alone in this world to carry on without her, plagued her constantly and she wanted to create memories that would last a lifetime, long after she’d passed. The book follows them on 4 separate trips. •Paris and London •Italy •Spain •Amsterdam and Paris Along the way, we see not only how Katie has grown, but more so how much Jennifer has. When it first begins, she is the Itinerary Queen. She has plans all laid out, where to go, what to see. Katie teaches her to let go and go with the flow. Each trip, she relaxes more and more. We also get to hear about her father. How he was when she was little, her parents divorce, his music career and finally his sickness and death. Amazing enough, Jennifer Coburn knew how much to give us of each moment, to get her story told without us becoming too saddened to appreciate the humor in many of the things that happened along the way. My absolute favorite trip was Amsterdam. Not only for the flippin’ HILARIOUS “sometimes you just gotta swim through it” moment, but also because you knew she’d finally come full circle and to terms with her father and with herself. My Final Thoughts: This was not an easy book for me to read. Not because it isn’t my “normal” read, but because of the similarities to my own life. My father passed away from cancer when I was 14 yrs old. When you are young and lose a parent, I think it’s almost inevitable to have the fear and paranoia of leaving your own child. You never want them to experience the feelings of loss and abandonment that losing a parent can cause. So you are cautious. TOO cautious. You do everything perfect, in hopes that death will pass you by until at very least your children are thriving adults with families of their own. Yes, most parents take great care to avoid the same fate, but it’s more than that. We stop living for fear of dying. And even then…we still hear the imaginary clock ticking till our deaths. We plan for it. Hell I’m always telling my kids “If anything should happen to me…” because I never want there to be things left unsaid or them unprepared, even though I KNOW there is no way to prepare them for that kind of loss!! But reading this book enlightened me. I know I need to start trying to live in the moment and not in the what if. It won’t be easy, but I’m going to try very hard because I don’t want the legacy of my life, being about my death, long before I die. So thank you Jennifer Coburn for opening up my eyes, giving me some things to put on my bucket list(I know..I’m being punny) and for allowing me to laugh and share in your experiences with Katie. It was one hell of a trip. ♥ ~Robin Malone - Book Reads and Reviews

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Heinzman

    Let me just say that I love this book. I am currently an “armchair traveler” (although upon retirement I plan to become a “real” traveler, ha ha) and travel adventure books are among my favorite genre of books, as are memoirs. I love books about bicycle travel, sailing travel, walking travel, group travel – all of it! I even like travel shows on television. I loved how the author decided to “go for it” and make these trips happen, even though her family had other financial necessities in their li Let me just say that I love this book. I am currently an “armchair traveler” (although upon retirement I plan to become a “real” traveler, ha ha) and travel adventure books are among my favorite genre of books, as are memoirs. I love books about bicycle travel, sailing travel, walking travel, group travel – all of it! I even like travel shows on television. I loved how the author decided to “go for it” and make these trips happen, even though her family had other financial necessities in their life; she made travel (and memories for her daughter) a priority. After seeing her father did young of cancer, she didn’t want to have any regrets in her life (she thought she would also die young) and didn’t want to leave travel until later in life, in case she died before it could happen. I kind of feel the same way; that by waiting until retirement (in 2.5 years for me), I might have waited too long. If I end up getting some debilitating health issues before then, I’ll really be mad. I’ve already been through breast cancer, and that’s enough for me. I just cannot wait to be able to travel at will with my husband. I traveled a lot as a young Army brat and in my early 20’s, but very little since having a family. I really like the author and her daughter (who appears to be a very intelligent young lady), both of whom I’d like to meet. I feel like a kindred spirit. The two of them appear to have a really good relationship, and I loved reading about their adventures, and misadventures. The book was a delightful read and I especially liked it because I have been to all these places! I could picture the places in Italy and Spain, for example. I was right there with her as she toured Barcelona! I definitely want to go back to all these places someday and maybe keep a journal this time, as Jennifer Coburn has inspired me to write about my travels. The book is an easy and quick read, and, unlike some of the other reviews, I really liked how she interspersed her past life into the book, so that the reader feels like they really know Jennifer and Katie as personal friends. I also like Jennifer’s husband, William, because he supported her in her need for travel, even though he did not accompany them on their trips. He’s a real keeper! I laughed out loud at some parts; it was such an engaging book. I do recommend it if you love travel adventures.

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