Title: The Little Coffee Shop in Kabul
Author: Deborah Rodriguez
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 ultra-traditional son — who, unbeknownst to her, is facing his own religious doubts. Into the café comes 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.
Beautiful. If a word could describe this book, it would be this. Or perhaps realistic. While this book is full of adventure and a little bit of angst and romance, there is an aspect of it that is very realistic.
Through the eyes of the expats as well the nationals, a story is woven that tells the reader the truth of the Kabul streets. While there are aspects of the story that give it an almost fairy tale like feel, it never veers too much of the beaten path od reality.
No emotion is exaggerated to a comical, or extreme point and the characters are carved in such a way that their flaws as well as their talents remain within the beliveable bounds of reality. No character achieves a level of perfection that you struggle to relate with their thought process or their actions which I find very exciting because sometimes, when you talk about war-torn zones, those who don’t experience can’t relate to the characters.
All of that being said, it must be remembered that the streets of Kabul are indeed war torn. And because of this, some of the thoughts and concepts in this book aren’t appropriate for young, or squeamish readers. To put it terms of another medium, if the deaths in shows like Castle, Criminal Minds or CSI creep you out, then tread with caution.
When you want to relax for a little while, or just unwind after a long week at work/school/university, this book is for you.
A cleverly crafted tale, this realistic fiction is for those over the age of 15 at the earliest, and even then, I would suggest that you ensure you’re comfortable with all the topics discussed in the book.
A book that is I read in one-sitting, you’re free to read it with breaks in between if you wish to. But if you do somehow manage to put this little page turner down, then I commend you…and please tell me how you managed it in the comments because when I read it, I was most definately not able to put it down.
~As always, comment below to tell me what you think and whether or not you’ll read it…or have read it–
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