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Sharon K. (Gainesville, TX)
Cup of Friendship
I am of two thoughts about this book. I was disappointed. I thought it would have more substance than it does. More on the order of "Three Cups of Tea" or "The Help." When I could move beyond that to read the book for what it is...a romance with deeper undertones that show the culture and restrictions, for women especially, in the culture I was ok with it. It is interesting but with more substance and depth it would have been great. I must admit the book makes me appreciate the life/freedom we women have.
Jean O. (DePere, WI)
A Cup of Friendship
It was hard to keep reading for the first two-thirds of the book. The characters seemed flat and I felt no connection with any of them. The story seemed removed and I felt distant from any actions/descriptions. It was almost as if the author assumed that readers would get the gist of things with few words and little description. The last part of the book had more life to it.
Virginia B. (Forest Park, IL)
I enjoyed this book -- I had previously read the Kabul Beauty School and was amazed and dismayed at the same time how both books portray the life of women in Afghanistan. I certainly appreciate what I have so much more. I liked the way the ex-pat women became friends in such a small community because they were in the minority as well as befriending Afghan women. At the same time, they didn't let the atmosphere get them down too much. I like the ending as well -- giving hope to a change of the way Afghan women live.
Julie G. (West Hartford, CT)
A Taste of Afghanistan
In her book A Cup of Friendship, Deborah Rodriguez gives the reader a rich portrait of life in Afghanistan. Through the different characters, the reader is introduced to the many people who come together at the coffee shop of the title. Unfortunately, while I found the story enjoyable, I found the characters so stereotypical that none of them were compelling enough to truly care about.
Tricia L. (Auburn, WA)
I trust Rodriguez's writing.
Because of her excellent non-fiction, I was already predisposed to like this novel. It was so interesting and the fact that it was fiction made me aware of how powerful a story can be, whether true or not.
Judy G. (Carmel, IN)
Cup of Friendship not quite full
A great read!
I started off the book thinking it was going to be a great read. In the end, I was disappointed. Despite all the known violence in Afghanistan, Ahmet and others guarding the entries, the building of the wall, the story doesn't describe any coffeehouse incidents until 2/3 of the way through the book. The title is about friendship, yet the story doesn't ever quite "cement" that bond between the female characters for me. I finished the book feeling the story was slightly disjointed. There was a potential for greatness; but the depth of story and character development never quite got there.
Adelia S. (Livingston, MT)
A Cup of Friendship
Loved the book! It felt like the author had lived what she had written. Her colorful descriptions of the area and the beautiful fabrics for their clothing came to life for me. The cruelty in the name of religion evoked anger and sympathy for what the women have to endure. I would compare this book favorably with Hosseini's "A Thousand Splendid Suns" and Mortenson's "Three Cups of Tea."
Julie R. (Jefferson, ME)
A Cup of Friendship
This book centers around more than wine aka "tea" and friendship. To be sure, Sunny, the main character, has created a place where both Afghans and visitors can relax and share cultures and friendship, and the "tea" house becomes a central part of the setting. However, the author's interwoven plot adds to the reader's insight into the harsh reality of the Afghans' daily living in light of the threat of Taliban aggression. In addition, as Sunny and her friends persevere in protecting the lives of those in danger, the mystery and suspense centered on the lives of the characters sustain the readers' interest to the end. This is a story of the affirmation of love between the clash of religious traditions and the characters' inner values. In my opinion, the title does not reflect the deeper themes of the book.