How did A Cup of Friendship stack up? I though this book was good. Very good. I enjoyed all of Rodriguez's characters. Sunny, the owner of a coffee shop, transplanted in Kabul after life in Arkansas, is the central figure in this story, uniting the people that she comes to care for as friends and who feel like family.
There is Jack, Sunny's friend, who she is attracted to but who has left his wife and family in the States. Tommy is Sunny's boyfriend, although he is rarely around and their attraction is based mostly on the physical aspects of their relationship. Yazmina is a widowed mother-to-be who Sunny takes in after she is beaten and left on a roadside. Sunny's friends also include Halajan, a widowed mother and her adult son, Ahmet, and two women Candace and Isabel, who are in Afghanistan for different reasons.
Just as Kabul Beauty School focuses on the rights of women in Afghanistan, A Cup of Friendship has a similar message. While reading, I felt that this book must have been somewhat autobiographical. After looking more for information online about this book, I have come across information about Rodriguez's own experience running a coffee shop in Kabul.
As I previously stated, this is a good book. I was almost instantly interested in the stories of all of Rodriguez's characters. Life in Afghanistan is vastly different than in America, and Rodriguez did a great job in her writing of communicating these differences without seeming as though she was providing an education on how women live in Afghanistan. I am hopeful Rodriguez has more stories to share in the future. Both of her books have been interesting and memorable - books I will pass on to others to read.