Archive | June 24, 2013

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez

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So, I’m reading again. All is well with the world.

Well, not in the country in which this novel is set.

Rodriguez opened my eyes. With all the reports on the nightly news, with the images in our newspaper, with other novels set in Afghanistan (like Parvana) that I have read, this book still opened my eyes. I have learnt a lot.

Some information provoked further investigation, such as the visit to the last Jew in Kabul. Some details were very interesting – like the colour of Afghani wedding dresses, food eaten, customs – but there were also striking, important ideas that go to the heart of much that troubles me. Specifically, why is there so much hatred of women? It defies understanding, defies comprehension. Where’s the benefit to society? To men? To families?

Why the need to control? To inflict pain and destruction?

There were some bits of this novel that were a little cliched, reunions too sweet, too coincidental. And some of the dialogue didn’t ring true.

But I enjoyed it, as much as it challenged me. (And I always love to learn something new or see things from a new perspective.)

Thank you Jo for your gift. It was good read.