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

Jennifer Coburn
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 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

Review

"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 Coburn...to 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 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.

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
  • ASIN: B00HFDVOHI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,883 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Memoir April 8, 2014
By LKC
Format:Paperback
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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
"We'll Always Have Paris" is funny, emotional and touching. Entertaining from page one and filled with a story of that makes you want to spend more time with the ones you love.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I have been reading Jennifer Coburn's new book "We'll always have Paris", where she recounts her travels with her daughter through Paris and Italy, with touching and sometimes heart-breaking flashbacks from her childhood in New York.
Reading this book is, most of the time, like breathing laughing gas while reading comic books. I laughed out loud and imagined these two gals (mother and young daughter) treading their ways through Paris and places in Italy. Jennifer making fun of her own insecurities, while still hopping on trains, buses, faking accents, playing charades when unable to find the correct words, etc... I so totally enjoyed this book.
On a more serious note, Jennifer's father, whom we meet thorough her book, died of cancer at the age of 49. In his honor, she is donating her royalties from the first 1000 pre-orders to the American Cancer Society.
Vive "We'll always have Paris" and Jennifer Coburn!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tres Bon! April 8, 2014
By KC
Format:Paperback
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.
~KC
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy, fun read December 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
We’ll Always Have Paris by Jennifer Coburn is a delightful travel memoir that is perfect for reading on the plane on the way to a first trip to Europe. Travel narratives have multiplied over the past two decades and it seems that in the 21st century anyone who goes anywhere writes a book about it. Even better if the author is accompanied by their pet or other animals—or as in this case, her child during four vacations in different parts of Grand Tour Europe--France, England, Spain, Italy, Amsterdam. Yes, they visit all the usual places, but the telling is nevertheless fresh.

During these sojourns the author reflects on her life growing up, her own fear of dying, and on the death of her father at age forty-nine. It doesn’t hurt that she is a professional writer with several novels to her credit, and so the memoir is well-written, the flipping between the past and present is seamless and controlled.

Coburn, in the way of writers, gives all the clever punch lines to the youngster, who comes off wise, intuitive, and savvy. She deprecatingly paints herself, however, as a naïve, nervous, fraidy cat, still mired in the past. Many experiences seem embroidered or even imagined, but are nevertheless entertaining and make their point.

It all gets done by the end of the book—Katie grows up, she and her mom see Europe, and Jennifer works out her past. Meanwhile, we are entertained by some great travel descriptions which are often very funny, Mom’s pot cookies in Amsterdam, and the three-hour long telephone call with a psychic especially.

Reading this makes us all wish to have had such vacations with our moms, or with our children, or both.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A very unique travel memoir
This was just fun. I was a little worried going in that the book would focus on Coburn's fear of dying young but it really didn't. Read more
Published 10 hours ago by KatherineP
5.0 out of 5 stars Rollicking acount of trips abroad intertwined with a deeper message
This book is an account of several trips the author took with her daughter to Europe, hilariously told. Coburn has a real knack for a funny story or observation. Read more
Published 21 days ago by mikemac9
4.0 out of 5 stars I truly enjoyed the book
I truly enjoyed the book. I liked all of the characters, and thought they were all well written. I especially enjoyed how Ms Coburn went back and forth between enjoying her child... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Amy T. Day
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm amazed she attempted this ambitious travel
The author seems fairly neurotic.....I'm amazed she attempted this ambitious travel! Her fears and nervousness seemed over-blown and took away from the great time a mom and her... Read more
Published 26 days ago by betsy lineberger
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than a travel essay
A far broader memoir than the title or many blurbs suggest, this stands alongside favorites from David Sedaris, especially when he's walking the line between hilarious and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tegan Glasheen
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book
I really enjoyed this book. As a mother of 3 girls I could related to the feelings of wanting them to see places, wish I had been able to take them to Europe more often!
Published 1 month ago by Laurie Fergusson
3.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book-mostly because I love Paris
I loved this book-mostly because I love Paris. Could hardly
believe a Mom would start traveling alone with such a young
child but it worked for her and as her daughter... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Soupy
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Didn't get far in this; Mother seemed to have problems that occupied narrative more than thoughts of Paris.
Published 1 month ago by SusanC
4.0 out of 5 stars Very fun read!
Good time reading this one. I enjoyed this book alot. Some of the places described in the book, I've also visited and felt like I missed so much while I was there! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kammy
5.0 out of 5 stars heartwarming!
I want to give this book to my daughter since it reminds me of us and our travels in Europe.
Published 2 months ago by Jenny
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