Reading guide for Kabul Beauty School by Kristin Ohlson, Deborah Rodriguez

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Kabul Beauty School

An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil

by Kristin Ohlson, Deborah Rodriguez

Kabul Beauty School by Kristin Ohlson, Deborah Rodriguez X
Kabul Beauty School by Kristin Ohlson, Deborah Rodriguez
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2007, 275 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2007, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. We so often think of ourselves as more socially advanced than Middle Eastern nations. What does it say about this assumption that the author was treated by a preacher husband in the US the same way that Nahhida, wife of a Taliban member, is treated in Afghanistan?

  2. Did Debbie take a chance of repeating her abusive history by marrying a relatively unknown man from a culture with a reputation for mistreating women?

  3. Were you shocked when she revealed that her husband had another wife?

  4. Why do you think Debbie was so emotional upon meeting Sam’s father? Would you have been eager to meet him or preferred not to? Were you surprised at his reaction?

  5. As a mother of two, was Debbie irresponsible in taking risks like crossing the Khyber pass and confronting her neighbors? Should she have gone to Afghanistan at all, knowing the conditions in the country?

  6. Debbie’s “bad” neighbors were potentially dangerous. What would you have done in her situation? How would the ineffectiveness of the local police make you feel?

  7. Was it foolish for Debbie to continue running the beauty school in the face of government interference and hostility?

  8. Debbie goes to Afghanistan in order to change the lives of women there and give them greater power in their personal lives, a mission that she has fulfilled for many women. How have these women changed her?

  9. Does the example of a strong self-sufficient woman Debbie sets for the Afghan women provide them with helpful inspiration or does it set a dangerous precedent, encouraging them to model behaviors and aspirations that might be dangerous to them in their environment?

  10. Would you have let a known Taliban member, and opium addict at that, stay under your roof in order to help his wife? How dangerous do you think this decision really was?

  11. Why do you think Hama was unable to follow through and accept the generous offer of a place to live and a new life in the US?

  12. How would you have reacted if your son offered to marry Hama? Would you have encouraged him? Argued against it?

  13. How do you think American women are similar to and, at the same time, different from the Afghan women Debbie befriended and works with?

  14. Did it surprise you to read about some of the frank discussions and depictions of sex among the Afghan women at the beauty salon and the wedding that Debbie attended?

  15. Do you think it was wise for Debbie to help Roshanna escape detection as a non-virgin on her wedding night? Would you have chosen to interfere? Why or why not?
Free Book Club Report

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Random House. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Overstory
    The Overstory
    by Richard Powers
    Many glowing adjectives can be used to describe a novel by Richard Powers: brilliant, moving, ...
  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil

    A riveting story of survival, and the power of stories to save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.