Friday, February 11, 2011

A Cup of Friendship

A Cup of Friendship is Deborah Rodriguez's first foray into fiction writing. I'm not sure what I was expecting. I did read Kabul Beauty School when it was published. I enjoyed it, although I felt then that perhaps Rodriguez's own role in Afghanistan was not quite accurate (all I can dredge up is Rodriguez's own reaction to Afghan men who were too forward - how she would slap their hands away. I mean, really? Did she really do that?) and were perhaps a bit exaggerated.
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.


Melissa Mc (Gerbera Daisy Diaries) said...

A character from Arkansas?! Must add this to my list!

The Golden Eagle said...

It sounds like an interesting book--I'm always intrigued by stories set in countries outside of the USA.

Thank you for the review!

Peaceful Reader said...

I do want to read this but I feel like I need to read the first one, The Kabul Beauty School, even though it is a memoir.

Christina T said...

I have this on my TBR list and I'm purchasing it for my library. I can't wait to read it! I haven't read Kabul Beauty School but my sister said it was good. I enjoy reading multicultural fiction. Nice review!