Talking about good debut novels, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez makes it to the top of women-centric novels. As I love reading about Afghanistan and Pakistan, I couldn’t help buying it from the book store as soon as I laid my eyes on the book.
I should warn you, it’s nothing like ‘Kite Runner’ or ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’. Its written from a Western perspective rather than an Afghan perspective, nevertheless it makes for a warm hearted and interesting read.
Deborah Rodriguez is an American author, hairdresser and humanitarian who lived in Afghanistan for five years. She owned a beauty saloon and a coffee shop in Kabul. She has also written her memoir called ‘The Kabul Beauty School’.
In the novel The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul, the story is centered around Sunny an American, who owns a coffee shop in Kabul, two Afghan women Yazmina, who works in the coffee shop and Halajan, who is the owner of the building where the coffee shop is located.
There are two other characters, a wealthy American Candace and a British journalist Isabel who frequent the coffee shop. It is the story of these five women who are thrown together by circumstances and form a unique bond.
Here’s the excerpt of the book:
One little cafe. Five extraordinary women…..
In a little coffee shop in one of the most dangerous places on earth, five very different women come together.
Sunny, the proud proprietor, who needs an ingenious plan-and fast-to keep her cafe and customers safe…..
Yazmina, a young pregnant woman stolen from her remote village and now abandoned on Kabul’s violent streets…
Candace, a wealthy American who has finally left her husband for her Afghan lover, the enigmatic Wakil…
Isabel, the determined journalist with a secret that might keep her from the biggest story of her life…
And Halajan, the sixty year old den mother, whose long hidden affair breaks all the rules.
As these five discover there’s more to one another than meets the eye, they form a unique bond that will forever change their lives and lives of many others.
overall, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul is a light read and will keep you glued to the book until you finish reading it. This book is a good read during your business trip or a vacation or for a weekend.
Some note worthy quotes from the novel:
“People, even those closest to you, are surprising….Nobody is everything they seem.”
“Shame does something to a man. It makes him forget those he loves. It makes a good man do bad things.”
“She wasn’t sure who were family and who were friends, and maybe they all were both, and maybe it didn’t matter one bit.”