**Giveaway is now closed**
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.
Jennifer, the mother, lost her dad to cancer when she was nineteen. Since his passing, she’s had a fatalistic view of life, feeling as if she were living on borrowed time. When she had her daughter, Katie, her fears were amplified. I get this, because I lost my mom when I was eighteen. Sometimes I look at my oldest child, who’s thirteen, and think - what if I only have five more years left with him? Jennifer wants to give her daughter special memories and teach her all the life lessons that she can, in case something happens to her. Fortunately, Katie doesn’t know that her mom has these dark thoughts. Jennifer’s fear of dying has evolved in to a fear of living.
Jennifer decides to take Katie to Europe, so she can show her daughter some of the world. If something happens to her, Katie can say, “We’ll always have Paris.” Lucky Katie, I certainly wish my mom had had similar notions! Paris is the first stop on their inaugural trip, when Katie is eight years old. Over eight years, the pair embark on four trips, traveling throughout France, England, Italy, Spain and Amsterdam. How cool is that?
This book however, is more than a mom memoir or a travelogue, it’s also story of grief. Losing a parent is an ache that never really goes away, flaring up periodically like a virus you just can’t shake. Jennifer’s memories of her father are interwoven with moments she and Katie share on their adventures. By remembering her father, being inspired by her vivacious daughter, traveling outside her comfort zone (quite literally) and challenging herself to have fun and enjoy life, Jennifer starts to break free of her fears and anxieties. It’s a joy to see this happen. It’s a shame that she’s lived most of her life encumbered by her grief, because she knows all too well how precious time is.
Coburn is a seasoned writer, having numerous chick lit books to her credit. Her voice shines through as she eloquently and frankly tells her story with vivid descriptions of people and places. Her love for her late father is poignant and she successfully brings him alive on the pages. Now I miss him! The book is well balanced, just when something made me sad, Coburn instinctively lightens the mood with her humor. This memoir was a joy to read - a great choice for mothers, daughters and readers with a case of wanderlust. Jennifer’s a very cool chick - I’d love to travel with her.
Allie Smith, a former CPA who five years into her career decided that she hated working with numbers and willingly gave it all up to be a stay-at-home mom, lives in suburban Atlanta with her husband and four children. In between carpool, play dates and refereeing the kids, she loves to read and write. The mother of a child with autism, she is currently working on a memoir of their journey. She can be found at her blog.
Thanks to Sourcebooks for the book in exchange for an honest review. They also have TWO copies to share with some lucky readers in the US and/or Canada!
How to win:
Please tell us something special that a parent has shared with you OR something special that you would like to share with your child(ren). (Or you can just tell us the vacation you'd like to put on your bucket list.)
One entry per person.
Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted.
US/Canada only. Giveaway ends April 13th at midnight EST.
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