Tuesday 29 October 2013

Have Mother Will Travel

Finished October 18
Have Mother Will Travel: a mother and daughter discover themselves, each other, and the world by Claire and Mia Fontaine

This joint memoir by mother Claire and daughter Mia is their second joint book, but I haven't read the first, Comeback, which is about Mia's rebellion as a teenager and Claire's fight to bring her back from a life involved with drugs and self-destruction. I was travelling with my parents as I read this, but I am closer to the mother's age here as Claire is 51 and Mia in her early 20s. While the two had grown very close during that time, Mia's time at university and subsequent move to New York City to work and Claire's choices in life had led to their connection being less strong. Claire wanted to reconnect and heard about something called the Global Scavenger Hunt and asked Mia to sign on as her partner in this endeavor. The book is split into two parts with the first covering some of their experiences during the Global Scavenger Hunt and the second part covering their following long-term vacation in Avignon together.
The book starts with background on their relationship, and the preparation for this adventure in a chapter called Big Bang. The first part then covers their adventures in China, Malaysia and Singapore, Nepal, Cairo, and Greece and the Balkans. The two learn a lot about each other, with Mia in particular learning about her mother's choices in life and why she chose the path she did. They also learn about each other's weaknesses and strengths and encourage each other to open up and face these.
The second part of the book has them living together for a summer in a studio apartment in Avignon, an area that Claire has spent time in before, but doesn't know overly well. They continue to learn about each and the close quarters and forced together time increase their bond, though not always smoothly.
An interesting book about a mother-daughter relationship and its continuous development.

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