WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS, by Jennifer Coburn, is a real hoot. She’s traveling alone with her young daughter. They’re visiting Paris and England on the first leg of their journey. Then on to other major cities in Europe and, back to Paris.
Jennifer Coburn has a fear. She’s afraid she’s going to die of some dread disease before she gets the chance to travel abroad with her young daughter. No, she’s not sick, she’s just fearful.
Jennifer’s journey begins in Paris when Katie is 8, and ends in Paris in 2013, when Katie is 16. The mother-daughter team did this tour in month-long snippets over the years. Jennifer’s husband was tied up with work and not able to get away. But he was there in thought.
When I began this memoir I thought it was only about traveling in Paris. And I like that. However, I quickly learned that the traveling expanded to many areas throughout Europe. Then I became even happier. There’s so many of my favorite spots in Italy. Then Spain. And Amsterdam. London. Oh my.
Jennifer Coburn and Katie are having the times of their lives in WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS. And they bring us all along to share the fun. They begin their journey tentatively, then each returning visit overseas sees them become more comfortable with the whole travel process.
I could so relate to the unreliability of the Italian transit system. Buses, trains. At the drop of a hat, they all strike. Imagine what that does to a tourist destination. Stops everything. The local train from Solerno to Naples, Italy stops on the track for hours. Been there, done that. We were stuck on the local train from Naples to Sorrento when it stopped suddenly in the middle of a tunnel. We learned afterwards that they had found a bomb left over from WWII, and had to remove it. Yes, this stuff really happens. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about their escapades in Positano. One of the most gorgeous places on the face of the earth. Katie’s fascination with the “sand” was not the same experience we had. I found the so-called sand really annoying. In fact, the sand was really oversized pebbles that were extremely painful and difficult to walk on. I actually brought home a handful to show people. Who would believe such a lovely place would have such a beach.
The writing, at times, was downright hilarious. And rather poignant, too. I found the snippets about Jennifer’s parents grew on me as the story progressed. So by the time Jennifer and Katie arrived in Amsterdam, I was very aware of the background with Jennifer’s dad and the city.
Even when Jennifer’s agenda kept being compromised, I loved the attitude she kept. That’s the attitude you have to keep while traveling. And who knows what new and unique experience will come of it.
What a fun book to read this summer. A great book to tuck into your beach bag, or in your tote bag for the plane. Don’t miss it.
I am sending out thanks to the publishing house of Sourcebooks for sending my review copy! Thanks so much.