Book Review: The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez

Published: 01/02/2011 by Random House
317 pages
Format: Paperback

From the author of the memoir Kabul Beauty School comes a fiction debut as compelling as real life: the story of a remarkable coffee shop in the heart of Afghanistan, and the men and women who meet there — thrown together by circumstance, bonded by secrets, and united in an extraordinary friendship.
After hard luck and some bad choices, Sunny has finally found a place to call home — it just happens to be in the middle of a war zone.
The thirty-eight-year-old American’s pride and joy is the Kabul Coffee House, where she brings hospitality to the expatriates, misfits, missionaries, and mercenaries who stroll through its doors. She’s especially grateful that the busy days allow her to forget Tommy, the love of her life, who left her in pursuit of money and adventure.
Working alongside Sunny is the maternal Halajan, who vividly recalls the days before the Taliban and now must hide a modern romance from her ultratraditional son — who, unbeknownst to her, is facing his own religious doubts. Into the café come Isabel, a British journalist on the trail of a risky story; Jack, who left his family back home in Michigan to earn “danger pay” as a consultant; and Candace, a wealthy and well-connected American whose desire to help threatens to cloud her judgment.
When Yazmina, a young Afghan from a remote village, is kidnapped and left on a city street pregnant and alone, Sunny welcomes her into the café and gives her a home — but Yazmina hides a secret that could put all their lives in jeopardy.
As this group of men and women discover that there’s more to one another than meets the eye, they’ll form an unlikely friendship that will change not only their own lives but the lives of an entire country.
Brimming with Deborah Rodriguez’s remarkable gift for depicting the nuances of life in Kabul, and filled with vibrant characters that readers will truly care about, A Cup of Friendship is the best kind of fiction—full of heart yet smart and thought-provoking.


As soon as this challenge came up, I knew which book I’m going to go for.

I’ve had this book in mind for quite a while but again, like with many of my books, I was probably just waiting for the right time to read it and get lost in it.

How amazing this cute looking little book is? It can appear as an easy read but it covers so many different and some very difficult topics (especially for us from Western cultures) and it does make you think about life in countries, we probably don’t hear about enough.

I found this book and story fascinating, even if it wasn’t always the happiest book, it just gave me so much and left long lasting impression. I felt connected to characters and each of the five women had something to give to the story. They were all so different but found way to each other through their hard experiences and bonded over cup of ‘tea’.

Can’t wait to read some more by this author as I loved probably everything about this book and will happily follow the story of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by reading the second book after this.


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