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We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Memoir [Kindle Edition]

Jennifer Coburn
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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 cafés 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.

"Brimming with joie de vivre!"—Jamie Cat Callan, author of Ooh La La! French Women's Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day

"Coburn proves as adept at describing the terrain of the human heart as she is the gardens of Alcázar or the streets of Paris."—Claire and Mia Fontaine, authors of the bestselling Come Back and Have Mother, Will Travel

Editorial Reviews


"I'm profoundly in love with Jennifer Coburn's memoir We'll Always Have Paris! From Coburn's picture-perfect travelogue to her hilarious observations, she's woven together a powerful narrative with a heartfelt and thoughtful examination of what truly makes a family. I was enthralled from the very first page and I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I want to read this again, tell all my friends about it... and then renew my passport." - Jen Lancaster, NYT bestselling author of Bitter is the New Black, The Tao of Martha, and Here I Go Again

"This book touched me in a profound way. I lost my beloved father a short time ago and I have been ruminating about all the trips we never took together. Before my sisters and I were born, he traveled the world and regaled us with tales all through our childhood. We planned to see many of those same places together, but fate intervened in the form of marriage and a child of my own. In the end I can say that I am grateful that we shared so much time together and that his stories will always live on in me. Thank you Jennifer." - Cayocosta72

"We'll Always Have Paris reads like a sweet stroll through Europe with a funny friend who shares touching stories of her parent-child relationships. A great escape." - Janice MacLeod, author of Paris Letters

"We'll Always Have Paris is simply brimming with joie de vivre! From the very moment I embarked on Jennifer Coburn's delicious Paris memoir, I wanted to travel back in time to when my own daughter was eight years old, take her by the hand, and bring her to Paris for the adventure of a lifetime. Well, until I have a granddaughter, I have the next best thing--Jennifer Coburn's gorgeous story of love, family and the ties that bind. I am recommending this to all my friends and family and especially to my own daughter. It's simply fantastique!" - Jamie Cat Callan, author of Ooh La La! French Women's Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day

"Jennifer Coburn's We'll Always Have Paris takes us on two journeys. One is a trés entertaining mother/daughter travel tale in which Coburn brings their evolving relationship, and Europe, to life with such vibrance, humor and insight, it made us want to pack our bags and hit the road again tomorrow. She also takes us on an internal journey chronicling her deep love and longing for the adored hippie/musician father she lost to cancer as a teen. In passages powerful, tender and funny - often in one sentence - Coburn proves as adept at describing the terrain of the human heart as she does the gardens of Alcazar or the streets of Paris." - Claire and Mia Fontaine, authors of the bestselling Comeback and Have Mother, Will Travel

"We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Adventure is a funny, honest, sometimes kooky memoir by San Diegan Jennifer read the book is to experience Europe anew, and relive all the wonder that travel brings." - San Diego Magazine

"Jennifer's narration of their adventures is laugh-out-loud funny, warm and touching-I thought of Nora Ephron and Anna Quindlen." - Presidio Sentinel

"This poignant and very funny memoir chronicles their summers in cities like Paris, London, Barcelona and Amsterdam, where they overcome fears and challenges, journey off the beaten path and make mother-daughter memories that will last a lifetime – however long or short that may be." - Midlife at the Oasis

"What made the book especially riveting, though, is how Coburn interweaves the tales of their travels with memories of her late father. She deftly ties in themes from their experiences to memories from her childhood, and I marveled at how skilfully she wove together the joyful and the difficult strands of her past.

I shut the book and began dreaming about where I'd love to take my kids." - 4 Mothers 1 Blog

"Anyone can keep a travel journal but it takes a special talent for crafting an engaging travel story worthy of inviting others on the journey. We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Memoir by Jennifer Coburn is not a flowery travel memoir about eating croissants, sipping coffee in Parisian cafes, and wearing matching berets in Paris. It's a lesson in living life and well worth the read." - Solo Travel Girl

About the Author

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, 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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1663 KB
  • Print Length: 397 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1402288638
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (April 8, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,874 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Memoir April 8, 2014
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tres Bon! April 8, 2014
I loved Coburn's memoir about "dragging" her daughter Katie through Paris and other parts of Europe. I too am a bit paranoid about being struck down too soon, so I could relate to the urgency she felt in giving Katie the best possible well-rounded childhood she could. Enjoyed their journey and the courage it took to take a then-8 year old on such an adventure. Fortunately, neither Jennifer nor her daughter were simpering Americans longing for cheeseburgers! They embraced the European cultures with great aplomb, language barrier be damned. (Perhaps her husband should also get a nod/shout out for holding down the fort while his wife and daughter did their globetrotting. What a guy!) For me what really gave the story traction was her memories of her father, and the "journey" of losing him. It was poignant and profound. You should read this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Light Reading September 12, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I chose this book because my adult daughter and I took several trips to Europe to some of the same countries that the mother and daughter in this book also visited. I was reminded of the great time my daughter and I had when we visited some of the same tourist sites, but I was disappointed that WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS had no binding plot, very little drama, and no intriguing conflict. It read more like a combination of a well written journal and travelogue with alternating chapters of memories of stories of the mother’s early life triggered by things that happened on their trips to Europe. The daughter was extremely mature for an eight year old and the mother was an insecure but good mother. The role reversal was interesting as over the years of traveling together the mother began to mature and understand the true purpose of life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tries too hard to be two books in one May 5, 2015
I can’t resist any book that has “Paris” in the title. Having done much travel with my children, I was especially intrigued by the book’s subtitle, “A Mother/Daughter Adventure”. This sounded like it was right up my alley.

So, why didn’t I care for this book?

Because it tries too hard to be too many things. Only half of the book is a travelogue. The other half is a tale of regret as the younger version of the author recalls watching her father die of cancer.

Hmmm. I get the concept, but it falls short. Left in fear of death after watching her father die too young, Coburn wants to pack in as many memories as she can with her young daughter. She tries to weave together her current travel experiences with a memory of her father that is triggered by them. Most of the time, the trigger is fluid. That’s not my problem with it.

My problem is that when I expected to read a travel memoir, I thought I would be reading details about the places they’d been to, the nuances of culture shock, and get a sense that I was there experiencing it with them. The details, instead, were sparse, and seemed to serve more as vehicles back to the father storyline. That’s too bad, because what the author wrote about her mother/daughter travels, she wrote very well, and could undoubtedly have written a whole book merely about that experience.

So, as a travel memoir, it fell short. And, as a reminiscence of the death of her father, it fell short. The book was trying to be both. The author is skilled writer, and could have written two books equally well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
“This heartwarming story of a mother-daughter journey through Europe is a sweet and funny adventure that is a fun and inspirational read. “We’ll Always Have Paris” is a glimpse into a unique relationship written from the eyes of two generations. It makes you laugh, smile and admire these two kooky real-life folks who do it their way. Better yet, Jennifer Coburn’s story makes me want to pack up my bag... and my daughter… and hit the road to make similar memories. I am recommending this book to all of my friends and family. This is a “feel-good” must read!”

-Karen Ronney, author of Proud Parents’ Guide to Raising Athletic, Balanced, and Coordinated Kids: A Lifetime of Benefit in Just 10 Minutes A Day
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor left at home husband
Did not care for this book. Relationship with daughter "to perfect". Poor left at home husband. Home in disrepair, yet travel more important.
Published 15 hours ago by Jane McClain
4.0 out of 5 stars Pack your bags
Makes you want to get your passport out! I loved her descriptions of her daughter's reactions to the places they visited and the way they appreciated the small things. Read more
Published 9 days ago by J. Sanders
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the story
Enjoyed the story. Too many fears! Katie is a great little girl with a passion for life. Gave me some good ideas as I plan a trip to Paris with my grand daughter. Read more
Published 11 days ago by linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful travelog
Great overview of sites seen by a mother daughter during their several trips abroad. Felt like I was enjoying their adventures also. Very well written.
Published 11 days ago by B. Biddle
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Memoir: So So Travel Lit
Coburn's book is half memoir and half failed travel literature. The primary story centers on a series of trips she made to Europe with her daughter. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Nemoman
2.0 out of 5 stars Finished.
This memoir was too anticlimactic for me. I finished the book since I started it, but this was not a "page turner" for me.
Published 24 days ago by Sweet T N Ga
1.0 out of 5 stars bad book, wouldn't buy it again and have not ...
VERY uninteresting, bad book, wouldn't buy it again and have not even finished it. Totally silly
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A travel memoir written with wonderful humor.
This well-written memoir made me long to revisit Paris and Italy and to take a trip to Spain--and to meet this spunky mother and daughter. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Normandie Fischer
5.0 out of 5 stars Travel seen through the eye of a mom and daughter through the years....
I can't wait to share this book with friends and family. I have had so many belly laughs and thoughtful moments while reading this book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Katharine D.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read, funny
This was a fun read and since I love to travel and have a new little girl, so looking forward to taking her on a trip when she gets a bit bigger. Fun!
Published 1 month ago by Brittany J Grussing
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