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Have Mother, Will Travel: A Mother and Daughter Discover Themselves, Each Other, and the World
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Have Mother, Will Travel: A Mother and Daughter Discover Themselves, Each Other, and the World

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  788 ratings  ·  125 reviews
A mother, a daughter, and a life-changing adventure around the world . . .

Their bestselling memoir, Come Back, moved and inspired readers with the story of Mia Fontaine's harrowing drug addiction and her mother, Claire's, desperate and ultimately successful attempts to save her. Now it's a decade later and Claire and Mia each face a defining moment in her life, and a mothe
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by William Morrow (first published May 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.48  · 
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 ·  788 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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The premise of this book sounded great. A mother and daughter embark upon a travel adventure to raise money for charity. They visit several countries, beginning with China, and in each country they have several tasks to complete in order to compete for points with their fellow travelers. In this way, they can experience the country and the culture more fully. I was ready to come along for the ride.

I appreciated the dual narrative used in the book. First, the mother would speak and tell about one
May 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012, travel
So I haven't read the first book this mother-daughter team co-wrote but I love traveling and I love my mom so I thought I'd love this. But I didn't. I loved the beginning when the duo is racing around the world in the Great Scavenger Hunt but then things stall a bit once they get to France. Maybe this is a better read for mothers but there was just soooo much reflection about the nature of a mother-daughter relationship. It just got a bit too mushy for me. I had to struggle a bit to finish this ...more
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have been talking about little else other than this book. It touched me. I laughed, I cried and I loved it. Come to find out, my older sister and my Mom, who I wanted to send copies, have not only already read it, but they - like me, took quotes from the book and wrote them down.
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
A little too much mother/daughter relationship analysis for me. I much preferred the travelogue parts of the book.
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Have Mother, Will Travel" is a memoir by (perhaps unsurprisingly) a mother/ daughter duo. When they get a chance to go on a month long Amazing Race- esque trip that will take them to many different countries for a litany of experiences, they dive right in. They think that the trip may help to bring them closer together (and it does). This is the second book by the pair. The first book was called "Come Back," which explored the relationship between Claire and Mia as Mia is sent away to sort of a ...more
Jun 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
The descriptions were great and the travel inspiring (especially the bit in Bulgaria), but the intricacies of the mother-daughter relationship that came to light throughout the book was the best part, leading me to think on the nuances of my relationship with my mother and the woman I want to be so that I can be the mother I wish to be for my daughters. It also started a lot of new thoughts in my head on my definition of success, my vision of the future, and my ability to stay grounded in the pr ...more
Selket Nicole
May 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: travel
i couldn't finish this book - or couldn't be bothered to finish, i guess. the 100ish pages that i read didn't provide nearly enough information or narration about the travels and scavenges that the mother/daughter pair were on, which potentially could've been really entertaining. nor did it really provide much insight into the authors and their relationship, as advertised. it was just kinda blah. and i have too many books on my "to-read" shelf to bother with blah. ...more
Jul 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
I quit barely 30 minutes into this book, and long before mother and daughter's travels actually started. Somewhere between mother bragging about vision mapping her life before vision mapping was a thing, and daughter blathering on about looking for artisanal cheese at the farmer's market, I realized I couldn't take another second of these people, let alone 13 more hours. White privilege in a box. It didn't help that the writing was pedestrian at best. ...more
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
I picked this book up months ago at a bargain bookstore for a dollar because I had read Come Back a couple of years ago and thought it was an interesting book, and I figured this second tome would give a little more insight to what Mia and Claire's relationship was like with more years between their koolaid drinking of the European "boarding school" for troubled teens. I did read a lot about their relationship, and the book made a few semi interesting observations about mother-daughter and adult ...more
Rheetha Lawlor
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: underground
I was hoping for humorous vignettes of the two women's travels across the world. And there were some of those, but I felt towards the end there was far too much introspection over little things, almost to the point of being preachy. I would like to read their previous story about when Mia, the wayward daughter, eventually came home after years of her mother trying to help. So ,aye this book was more of a therapy for themselves rather than what I was expecting. Oh, those pesky expectations... ...more
More reviews and book-ish content @ Club Book Mobile

Have Mother, Will Travel by Mia and Claire Fontaine was this month's selection for my online book club. Without that, I'm not sure I would have found my way to this one. The interesting thing is while travel is in the title, that was my least favorite part of the book. I could honestly have not cared less about where Mia and Claire went. What I did really love was the exploration and evolution of their relationship. Mia is a recovering addict,
Mary Wilson
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Follow up to "Come Back." An American mother-daughter duo heads on an international scavenger hunt trip and subsequent summer in France. The time and the experience help them re-frame their relationship with each other after writing their first book together.

After writing "Come Back," in which they duo detail the daughter's spin out of control and placement in a therapeutic boarding school, the pair made a living talking about the book and their pasts. Taking the scavenger trip allows them to pi
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up
I really wanted to like this book….and perhaps my high expectations is why I didn’t. I found it hard to follow, one author writing in italics (who wants to read italics for half a book??) and the other not. It was stream of consciousness the entire book, and much less about the experiences of traveling which is what I had hoped for. It made you never want to visit the places they discussed (even though I’ve been to many of them and loved my travels). The bickering that occurred between the mothe ...more
Stephanie (Librarianish) Davidson
#176. I'm a bit of a sucker for travel memoirs, and this looked like an interesting take. Mom and adult daughter take off on a trip around the world, Amazing Race-style (for points but no monetary award). As I was nearing the end of the Fall 2018 Seasonal Reading Challenge on Goodreads (for points but no monetary award), I thought it fitting. Interesting, but would have liked more memoir about the travel and less about their history with each other. I don't know whether it's that I didn't find t ...more
Claire Saylor
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mother and daughter Claire and Mia start on a scavenger hunt around the world (that really exists!?) before spending a summer in France together to reconnect. It dips from travel essays to personal contemplations of mothers and daughters as they slowly come to respect and trust each other as the strong women they've become. Their dialogues peel away misperceptions each has of the other and dig into old family wounds, and monologues reflect on finding your place in this world and accepting the jo ...more
Xin Ru Toh
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first part was a more fast-paced narrative focusing on the mother and daughter pair going on the Global Scavenger Hunt, while the second part was a more slow-paced narrative focusing on the pair living together in France. The reflections on their respective identities and relationship were profound and relatable. However, I do wish more anecdotes were given from their travels, as expected of travel memoirs.
Cheryl Schibley
I really like these women. Mother and daughter have a difficult time when Mia, the daughter, is in her teens. Separate book, Come Home. Now she is in her mid-twenties and they sign up for a 13 country scavenger hunt and then live in France for a month. Very thoughtful, insightful and fun to read.
Lee E.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book ! The ladies do come off as a bit entitled / elitist at times, but I was really pleasantly surprised at some of the thoughtful insights they shared along the way. I listened to the audio book version and could absolutely hear myself and my own mother in their different attitudes towards the same event. Great read!
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
I enjoyed this book and may even re-read it in the future as there were several things I related to as both a mother and a daughter. BUT, I think the title is misleading and led to initial disappointment.
June Ding
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-read
A topic I’m interested: mother and daughter travel together and their travel stories. It was Interesting at the beginning but then soon gets a bit tired and I lost interest and could not finish the book.
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the book, well written and it wasn't necessary to have read their first book. I don't have a daughter but am a daughter so got me thinking about my relationship with my mother. Actually good to ponder relationship with both parents, as well as with my son. ...more
Sharon Pomeroy
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
i hope everyone that has a mother and is a daughter could read this book. I love the view about the same issue from both sides.
Meghan Wearne
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Reads a lot like a self help book, but it has some profound parts.
Andrea Elkins
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
More introspective, less travelogue. Interesting reading but not really my cup of tea.
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A post-college daughter and her mother travel together in order to get re-acquainted. First, they go on a Global Scavenger Hunt in the Middle East, then on to Czechoslovakia, where the daughter's grandmother evaded capture to be sent to a concentration camp. Finally, they return for a month together in Avignon, France. They allow themselves to know each other as adults and to re-focus to how they want to go forward in their lives. ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Much as I love the books I read and it should be pretty evident from all of this blogging business that I really, really do, sometimes I worry that I'm becoming too set in my ways and not exploring genres and such enough. Well, in Have Mother, Will Travel, I ventured into an almost entirely new genre for me: the memoir. Sure, I've read a couple, like The Glass Castle, which I am one of the only people in the world not to like, but, mostly, I've avoided them. Thankfully, I have been rewarded for ...more
Tejas Janet
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: around-the-world
This is a book about a mother and daughter going on a journey together, both actually and symbolically. They explore the world and at the same explore their own identities, to themselves and to each other. Despite alternating between mother and daughter, the narrative unfolds in a cohesive way. Lots of food for thought here, and both women can write well, as they demonstrate here. I liked this book a lot. I liked what they had to say, though didn't agree with it all, and I really liked that they ...more
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Claire and Mia Fontaine's Have Mother, Will Travel is a unique blend of memoir that both excites with its armchair travel opportunities and entices with its insights on the complicated, beautiful and challenging relationships between families. The women take turns narrating, each with a distinct voice and focus, we’re frequently treated to the “two sides to every story” lens as Mia and Claire discuss traveling, the past and their future.

What I loved most about the book — aside from, you know, th
Sara Strand
I'll start by saying that I did not read their first memoir together and after reading this book, I feel like I have to go back and read the other one. You can tell immediately that they love each other, they've been through difficult things, and they both communicate the same... but differently. It makes for a challenging relationship at times. But the best part about this book for me is that I could so identify with Mia. Sure, I have never had a drug addiction but I could really appreciate and ...more
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Here’s some trivia for your next vacation get-together: The concept of the summer “beach read” book goes all the way back to the Victorian...
44 likes · 13 comments
“It’s a dangerous thing, to divide yourself, to break off bits of yourself until there’s no solid core. We are, after all, just the sum of our total experiences, each one lying beneath us like a brick in the foundation of a house. To be selective, to block out portions, is to destabilize the very ground on which you stand.” 6 likes
“A woman’s relationship with herself is mirrored everywhere in her life, but no place more than with her daughter.” 5 likes
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