I read The little coffee shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez as one of my book group books. Years ago I’d read The Kabul beauty school by the same author.
The books are very similar in that they are about an American lady who goes to Kabul and sets up shop. In the first book she opens a beauty school and trains girls to be hairdressers in the hope of empowering them. Helping them get jobs and have a brighter future. In the second book, Sunny, the main character runs a coffee shop.
I enjoyed both books but they aren’t books I’d read again. They’re well written, easy to read, feel good but very predictable books. The one thing I did like about The little coffee shop of Kabul was the way the writer depicted love conquering the strict Muslim conservatism (but then again I’m a sucker for love).
There are several characters in the book but it mainly revolves around Sunny (it’s her coffee shop), Halajan (she owns the shop), her son Ahmet, Yasmina, Jack, Candace (wealthy American) and Isabelle (daring and inquisitive journalist). It’s about love, sacrifice, fear and tradition.
If you want something to read on the beach that’s easy, go for it. But expect the clichés and the stereotypes that go with the theme.