'The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul' Review

Thursday, 9 October 2014

'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 café and her costumers safe' 

'Yasmina, a young pregnant woman stolen from her remote village and now abandoned on Kabul's violet streets' 

'Isabel, a determined journalist with a secret that might keep her from the biggest story of her life' 

'Candace, a wealthy American who has finally left her husband for her Afghan lover, the enigmatic Wakil' 

'And Halajan, the sixty year old den mother, whose long-hidden love affair breaks all the rules'  

I really picked this book up on a whim, not really expecting much (judging the book by its cover). It just struck me as a bit of a easy read book one best for reading groups of housewives. And I'm glad to say I was wrong! 

The book centres on Sunny the owner of a coffee shop in the mists of Kabul during the rein of the Taliban. A place where women are forbidden to look at a man for fear of unspeakable punishment. Where a pregnant woman without a visible husband would be stoned to death and where fear of shaming your family reins supreme. 

The story immediately grabs you as it flits between each of the women, through their own experiences of Kabul, brought together by one place. It is evidently clear that the author has first hand experience of the events and culture that appears in the book, as each chapter is expertly crafted with character development that makes you feel as if you were sitting in the coffee shop observing for yourself. 

Nothing in the book is fantastical or over written which really adds to the real raw feel. I had to stop reading many times just to take in that some of these events really happened and are continuing to happen even now. 

For a lover of 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' this book definitely captured my imagination whole heartily. However I find this style of writing less harsh to read than ........ But this is no way hinders the story, it just becomes more uplifting. It is a book of the harsh ships of loving someone in such a dangerous place and really provokes thought to how much freedom we as a western society do have.  

I would defiantly recormend this book for any lovers of the kite runner or anyone intereted in Afgan culture. I also would recormend reading the authors interview found in the back of the book for some insight into her life in Kabul both in a beauty school and a coffee shop. A solid 4/5.