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A Sweet Story!!
I’d read Deborah’s first book, a debut memoir titled: “The Kabul Beauty School” so of course I’ve been anxious to read this one, her first debut work of fiction “A Cup of Friendship”.
Sue Ellen S. (Cedar Falls, IA)
A Timely Book
The novel is centered around the “Kabul Coffee House” in Afghanistan right in the middle of a war zone. Sunny, an American woman, is the owner and along with her Afghan employees her coffee house is home to a mixed variety of people: a British journalist, a country widow, a wealthy American named Candace and the pregnant Yasmina. The characters are lovable and their good qualities seep through in the story and you’ll want to help them overcome their faults yourself.
This was an extremely good book in giving you a bird’s eye view of an American working in the dirty and dusty city of Kabul surrounded by her newest friends and family. Deborah’s years of living in Afghanistan herself has provided her with a perceptive eye which added to the story, her experiences there leak through into this story giving us a clearer picture of what Afghanistan is really like. Well done!
If for no other reason, I encourage readers to pick up this book for what they will learn about current conditions in Afghanistan. Because the author has lived and worked in Afghanistan, she is able to lend credibility to this work of fiction. This is a fast-paced read and one with an important message about making choices—i.e., when must one choose to be compassionate rather than judgmental? When must one choose to set aside the strict mores of religious and/or cultural tradition and embrace flexibility? That said, the title does not fit. This novel is much more than a book about friendship and coffee or tea.
Virginia M. (Old Hickory, Tennessee)
A Cup of Friendship
A good read. I was intrigued by the title and subtitle because I'd previously read "A Cup of Tea". Not quite the same caliber, but an interesting read nonetheless.
Lee M. (Creve Coeur, Missouri)
A New Slant
In "A Cup of Friendship" Deborah Rodriguez's first-hand knowledge of Kabul and Afghanistan is the glue that holds together the story of Sunny and her coffee shop. The author's love of the country and its people gives a special significance to this love story.
Patricia S. (Yankton, SD)
A special cup of "tea"
The sights, sounds, smells, and tensions of Kabul make the city become another character In A Cup of Friendship by Deborah Rodriguez. Not history but modern day Kabul with all the beauty that remains under the devastation of war. Behind tall walls, built to protect from the danger of the bombs being set off almost daily, five women meet in Sunny’s Kabul Coffee house to discuss and take action on the rights of women in Afganistan under the impending threat of the return of the Taliban. There they find friendship and love. There the men in their lives struggle with the conflict between tradition and love. This is an outstanding first novel and makes the reader want to share in a cup of Sunny’s special “tea.”
Kathrin C. (Corona, CA)
About a month before I started A Cup of Friendship, I read Deborah Rodriguez’ earlier memoir, Kabul Beauty School. I remember enjoying the first half, but struggling to maintain interest throughout the rest of the book. I believe Deborah Rodriguez was able to achieve far more with her novel Cup of Friendship than she was with her earlier memoir. From her debut fiction all of the Afghan characters, the American characters, the cultures, the extreme gulfs between the cultures, the dangers, the challenges, and the hopes all coalesced into a very compelling and very readable novel drawing the reader far closer to Afghanistan than newspaper stories, media glimpses or certainly, even Ms. Rodriguez’s factual memoir.
MEB (Encampment, WY)
A Cup of Friendship
I enjoy exploring different cultures in my pleasure reading. This novel is filled with the rich and fascinating culture of Afghanistan. I found the imagery vivid and breathtaking. The author did an excellent job of bringing forth the ongoing problem of the oppression of women in Afghanistan. I enjoyed every page and look forward to reading more by Deborah Rodriguez. This would make an excellent choice for a book club.
Marcia S. (Hendersonville, NC)
More than it seems
Deborah Rodriguez's A Cup of Friendship was a thought provoking read. On the one hand, it was a love story. On the other, it portrayed complex layers of life in Afghanistan from the treatment of women to the training of terrorists and their insidious activities to the richness of family and traditions blending into modern culture. I enjoyed the friendships developed among the women of such varied backgrounds. Rodriguez reflects her love and respect of Afghanistan in her writing as well as her hope for the future of the country.