Tuesday 16 December 2014

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

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

Author: Jennifer Coburn
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Travel
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: April 8 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 391
Source: France Book Tours / NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Amazon CA | B&N
Indigo | iBooks | Kobo

Rating: ★★★
How her daughter and her passport taught Jennifer to live like there's no tomorrow.

Jennifer Coburn has always been terrified of dying young. So she decides to save up and drop everything to travel with her daughter, Katie, on a whirlwind European adventure 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, Jennifer is determined to jam her daughter's mental photo album with memories?just in case.

From the cafes of Paris to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Jennifer and Katie take on Europe one city at a time, united by their desire to see the world and spend precious time together. In this heartwarming generational love story, Jennifer reveals how their adventures helped vanquish her fear of dying...for the sake of living. [Provided by the author] (Goodreads)


Opening Lines
"Jail?!" my husband William shouted through the telephone.
"We were never actually in a jail cell," I explained, now safely back in our hotel room. "It was just a warning."

I remember when I first came across this book and how I was looking forward to reading something that had travelling and a mother-daughter experience all bundled in one! I read the first part of the Introduction and was happy for the humour and then that was quickly striped away by the second part of the introduction revolving around Jennifer's father. 

Once you start reading We'll Always Have Paris you start to realize why Jennifer is so afraid of dying young and is trying to make the most of this trip, just in case. I understand that authors don't put everything into the synopsis but I wish the meaning behind Jennifer's fear of dying was. When the tidbits about her father popped up I started to feel like it was random information just shoved in their to fill space, but I came to understand it's importance and how it's shaped Jennifer into the women she is today and why it was so important for her to make the most of memories for Katie.

Unfortunately, We'll Always Have Paris didn't keep me interested although out. I had to take many breaks from reading it, I feel like I would have enjoyed it more if maybe we had different perspectives or maybe a diary entry or something. I just felt flat being told from first perspective from start to finish. The writing style fell into a couple of awkward ruts of rambling but I really loved the descriptions given. This is one aspect Jennifer excelled at! I felt like I was with them while they were travel, all their experiences and what they were seeing felt so real! It made me want to pack a bag, grab my mom and passports and travel all of Europe.

Fear of dying is something almost every can relate to, or at least I think. We'll Always Have Paris had the potential to deliver a powerful message of living your life to the fullest no matter what, but I felt like it didn't give it's all. I'm not saying that message wasn't conveyed at all, I just felt like to got lost at times. A couple of things just didn't work for me. I was expecting a happy, humorous read with a great life lesson and that's not completely what I got.

Overall, We'll Always Have Paris was interesting travel read. It show cased a mother wanting to make the most of her time with her daughter, the closure of losing a father and a calm husband who clearly loves his family.



[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUpO3eO_81k]



Jennifer Coburn is a USA Today best selling author of six novels and contributor to four literary anthologies. Over the past two decades, Coburn has received numerous awards from the Press Club and Society for Professional Journalists for articles that appeared in Mothering, Big Apple Baby, The Miami Herald, The San Diego Union-Tribune and dozens of national and regional publications.

She has also written for Salon.com, Creators News Syndicate and The Huffington Post. Coburn lives in San Diego with her husband, William, and their daughter, Katie. We'll Always Have Paris is her first memoir.

Visit her website.
Follow Jennifer Coburn on Twitter | Facebook



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  1. thanks for posting your review. I like the way you managed to highlight both what worked and what did not work for you in this book. Emma

  2. Aww I love books that focus on a family. Those opening lines though, lol. It's been forever since I've read a non-fiction book but this one sounds like a sweet one. Lovely review, Patty! :)