|Paris from the Eiffer Tower|
There is nothing in the world like climbing the Eiffel Tour. Looking down at Paris is definitely an exhilarating moment that is frozen in time. Last year, my husband and I took our daughter to Paris to fulfill an important wish on our family bucket list. After a series of health issues for my husband and myself as well as others close to us, we decided to seize the moment and take our opportunity to go to Paris without regret. In truth though, our personal travel story actually began long before visiting Paris. When my daughter was born, my husband and I were determined to not let her hamper our travel aspirations. So, we have embarked on many adventures near and far with the little one in toe and have not looked back. Together, we will always have Paris........
When I received the opportunity to read Jennifer Coburn's We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Adventure, I jumped at the chance. While reading, I immediately felt a bond with Jennifer and discovered we are truly kindred spirits. Jennifer in some ways was haunted by her father passing away from cancer at a young age and thought that she in turn would pass away way too soon. Her loss inspired her to go on some grand adventures with her daughter, making memories that would last--just in case. My own father passed away early in my daughter's life--when she was one. These losses can truly be a source of motivation. I almost lost my grandfather to a heart attack when I was in my early twenties. While he was recovering from bypass surgery, he advised me to travel for myself--scale those mountains that I had planned to for so long. The words of my grandfather stuck with me. I mean, here is this guy who just had five bypasses (yes, five) and he is telling me to travel! My husband took a little nudging, but we began traveling in whichever direction was available to us at the time. We did not stop when our family became 3.
Fact: Jennifer Coburn is a USA Today best selling author of six novels and contributor to four literary anthologies. This is her first memoir.
Throughout the book, Jennifer adeptly weaves the story of her remembrances of her father into the travelogue of her adventures with her daughter. Jennifer is able to embrace her relationship with her father while strengthening her relationship with her daughter through creating special moments. In some ways, her book is melodic and flows naturally during the course of her life. During the book, both Jennifer and her daughter, Katie, grow. I really loved seeing each relationship unfold and evolve.
We'll Always Have Paris--A Book We Can All Relate To
We'll Always Have Paris is a book we can all relate to. The book celebrates the joys of life and discoveries, the little stumbling blocks we find here and there, the tragedy and realization of mortality that we all must face and the spirit to find our way through and survive. The overall message encourages us to seize the moment yet savor the time we are with those we love. Towards the end of the book, Jennifer becomes less concerned with checking the items off of her list and has really settled more in to enjoying time with her daughter.
I really love how Jennifer's relationship with Katie evolves during their trips to Europe. At the same time, we see Jennifer making sense of her relationship with her father and eventually visiting Amsterdam retracing his steps there. While Jennifer becomes closer with her daughter, she also is becoming closer with her father. Jennifer's book is really a touching family ballad showing the constant evolution of our relationships with our family members whether they are with us or have moved on to the next world.
Now, I do not want to paint We'll Always Have Paris as this very serious book. As we follow Jennifer and Katie while they visit Paris, London, Italy, Spain, Amsterdam and back to Paris again, we enjoy those little travel gaffes and mishaps that we all have. Some of Jennifer and Katie's moments in Italy really had me laughing. When the pair arrive in Pompeii, they are aware that there is a place to leave your luggage. However, they unwittingly leave their luggage with people that may not be on the up and up instead of at the official location. The situation does end well but it reminded me of we were warned almost right after we landed in Paris about scam artists by our cab driver. We all have had travel gaffes and faced interesting travel situations. As we reflect on our journeys, they become part of our own personal travelogues and I love how Jennifer includes them in hers.
As you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Travel Adventure and am so happy that I am able to share a copy with one lucky winner! With Mother's Day, Father's Day and family trips ahead, this is the perfect time of year to read We'll Always Have Paris. In fact, I actually read my copy while on a trip with my daughter and it was a great way to spend evenings, unwinding from a day of adventure. To win your own copy, enter the giveaway below. Our giveaway will end on May 11, 2014 and is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada 18-years-old and older only. Bonne chance!
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