Tuesday, December 14, 2010

160 - A Cup of Friendship; Deborah Rodriguez














Having enjoyed The Kabul Beauty School, a memoir by Deborah Rodriguez, I was anxious to read her first work of fiction, A Cup of Friendship. The premise sounded great. The novel is centered around the Kabul Coffee House in Afghanistan, right in the heart of a war zone. There is Ahmet, the cafe owner. Halajan, a 60 year old mother figure, who works at the coffee house, and is the mother of the shop owner. Halajan can't read, but she can recall life before and after the Taliban.

Sunny, is an expatriate from Jonesboro, Arkansas, who has made some bad choices in life. Her new life helps her to forget her past. She now runs the coffee house where diners are required to check their weapons at the door.  Yazmina, is a server at the coffee house whose parents were murdered by the Taliban. Her husband was also killed in a landmine. She had lived with her uncle, but one day she was taken by warlords in a black SUV as payment for a debt owed by her uncle. When the men found out she is pregnant, she was beaten and left for dead. Sunny takes this young woman under her wings and gives her a place to stay.  Others who frequent the coffee house include Candace, a wealthy, American woman with a secret that can be a threat to those around her.  Jack, another American with marital problems back home, and Isabel, a British reporter who is writing about the way women are treated in Afghanistan. Together, these very different people form a special bond and try to find meaning in their lives.

Although I enjoyed the first half of this book, I was disappointed by the second half. I guess I was expecting a bit more depth, so I was disappointed by much of the writing which seemed in some ways very much like chick-lit (not that there's anything wrong with that); I just was not expecting to have that reaction when I picked up this novel.

I did love this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt (It is so true)

"Women are like tea bags; you never know how strong they are until you put them in hot water" 

RATING - 3.5/5 stars
Review Copy

16 comments:

  1. When I started reading your post I thought this book would be very good. It has all the outlines for such a strong story - and then you were disappointed! Sad..

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  2. While not your highest rating, it sounds interesting and a cup of friendship is a great idea!

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  3. Oh, so sorry to hear that this one was not a favorite with you. I have been eyeing it and wondering if it is any good, but now, after reading your review, I am thinking it might not be the best book for me. Thanks for your honest take on this one.

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  4. Shame that the second half didn't live up to the previous part. I loved the cover as well.

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  5. I would want more depth with a subject matter like that too.

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  6. sorry to hear it didn't work for you. It is such a shame when a novel doesn't appear to be what it is conveyed to be on the cover.

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  7. Sorry to hear this one didn't totally work out for you. That is a great quote though!

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  8. I have wanted to read her first book and I still may. Depth is so important to a book. I just finished one that was fairly superficial and it left me feeling a bit blah.

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  9. Sorry this one didn't meet expectations especially after the first part of the book was good. I love the quote from Eleanor! Hope you're having a wonderfully special day! ;)

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  10. That quote is good ... but the plot sounds a bit outlandish to me to be honest.

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  11. That is a great quote by E.R.. Thanks for your concise and honest review, Diane.

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  12. I have an ARC of this one waiting for me. I, too, enjoyed Kabul Beauty School. Sorry to hear A Cup of Friendship doesn't live up.

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  13. I've always loved that Eleanor quote too!

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  14. I only made it about halfway through Kabul Beauty School, so I'll probably skip this one...

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  15. I love that cover! I am sad this did not work for you but I do want to read the other book you mentioned here!

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  16. Sounds like maybe the author was better off sticking to non-fiction?

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