This is the first book I finished during Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon but I first heard about Rodriguez’s novel from Erin of Erin Reads. Her review put the book on my TBR List, and I was happy to see the book in the leisure reading section of my library on campus.
The novel follows an American woman named Sunny living in Afghanistan. The coffee shop she owns in Kabul has become home not only to her but also for the older woman and her fundamentalist-leaning son living next door, the male bodyguard, and Jack. The addition of a widowed and pregnant young woman to her household puts her and everyone that depends on her in danger because in Afghanistan pregnant women are accused of being lose if their husband isn’t around.
I liked Rodriguez’s novel. The writing isn’t fantastic but I enjoyed reading about the relationships between all of these characters. Foreigners (particularly Brits and Americans) play such a large role in Afghanistan, and I always find how the portrayal of this fact plays out in fictional accounts of the country.
As novel progresses, more and more women are introduced into the tale and some of them are more interesting than others. I like how she captured the changing roles of women in the country. Some remember the time before the Taliban, some are controlled by their sons who cling to ideas Westerns would not agree with. I almost started to cry when I got to the part about the plight of women in jail in Afghanistan.
I want to read Rodriguez’s memoir, Kabul Beauty School, after reading this novel. Even though I wasn’t impressed with the writing, I did enjoy reading about all of these relationships and I’d like to see how much of her fictional account was pulled from her memoir.
- Rodriguez, Deborah. A Cup of Friendship. New York: Ballantine Books, 2011. Print. 291 pgs. ISBN: 9780345514752. Source: Library.