After hard luck and heartbreak, Sunny finally finds a place to call home—in the middle of an Afghanistan war zone. There, the thirty-eight-year-old serves up her American hospitality to the expats who patronize her coffee shop, including a British journalist, a “danger pay” consultant, and a wealthy and well-connected woman. True to her name, Sunny also bonds with people whose language and landscape are unfamiliar to most Westerners, but whose hearts and souls are very much like our own: the maternal Halajan, who vividly recalls the days before the Taliban and now must hide a modern romance from her ultratraditional son; and Yazmina, a young Afghan villager with a secret that could put everyone’s life in jeopardy. In this gorgeous first novel, New York Times bestselling author Deborah Rodriguez paints a stirring portrait of a faraway place where—even in the fog of political and social conflict—friendship, passion, and hope still exist. Originally published as A Cup of Friendship Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more. RandomHouseReadersCircle.com
In a little coffee shop in one of the most dangerous places on earth, five very different women come together. SUNNY, the proud proprietor, who needs an ingenious plan - and fast - to keep her café and customers safe. YAZMINA, a young pregnant woman stolen from her remote village and now abandoned on Kabul's violent streets. CANDACE, a wealthy American who has finally left her husband for her Afghan lover, the enigmatic Wakil. ISABEL, a determined journalist with a secret that might keep her from the biggest story of her life. And HALAJAN, the sixty-year-old den mother, whose long-hidden love affair breaks all the rules. As these five women discover there's more to one another than meets the eye, they form a unique bond that will for ever change their lives and the lives of many others. The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul is the heart-warming and life-affirming fiction debut from the author of the bestselling memoir The Kabul Beauty School.
Deborah Rodriguez's international bestselling book about a little cafe in Kabul, and the five extraordinary women who meet there, has moved readers around the world and become a word-of-mouth favourite among book clubs. In a little coffee shop in one of the most dangerous places on earth, five very different women come together. Sunny, the proud proprietor, who needs an ingenious plan - and fast - to keep her caf and customers safe... Yazmina, a young pregnant woman stolen from her remote village and now abandoned on Kabul's violent streets ... Candace, a wealthy American who has finally left her husband for her Afghan lover, the enigmatic Wakil ... Isabel, a determined journalist with a secret that might keep her from the biggest story of her life... And Halajan, the sixty-year-old den mother, whose long-hidden love affair breaks all the rules. As these five discover there's more to one another than meets the eye, they form a unique bond that will for ever change their lives and the lives of many others. "With a message.to protect and empower the women of Kabul, Rodriguez weaves her tale of life, death, and marriage.Readers will appreciate the in-depth, sensory descriptions of this oft-mentioned and faraway place that most have never seen." - Booklist "Rodriguez paints a vivid picture of Afghan culture. as if Maeve Binchy had written The Kite Runner." - Kirkus
"The spellbinding sequel to the international bestseller The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul. Six women, on opposite sides of the earth, yet forever joined by a cafe in Kabul. Sunny, its former proprietor and the new owner of the Screaming Peacock Vineyard in the Pacific Northwest. But can she handle the challenges of life on her own? Yazmina, the young mother who now runs the cafe, until a terrifying event strikes at the heart of her family, and business . . . Layla and Kat, two Afghan teenagers in America, both at war with the cultures that shaped them . . . Zara, a young woman about to be forced into a marriage with a man she despises, with devastating consequences for all . . . These five women are about to learn what Halajan, Yazmina's rebellious mother-in-law, has known all along: that when the world as you know it disappears, you find a new way to survive . . . Reuniting us with many of the compelling characters from the international bestseller The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul, Deborah Rodriguez offers up an inspiring story of strength and courage in a world where happily-ever-afters aren't as simple as they seem."
The Zanzibar Wife
Author: Deborah Rodriguez
Publisher: Random House Australia
Set both in Oman and on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, The Zanzibar Wife is the story of three different women, each at a turning point in her life . . . Oman. The ancient land of frankincense, wind-swept deserts, craggy mountaintops and turquoise seas. A place where tales of evil spirits and eerie phenomena abound. Into this magical nation come three remarkable women, each facing a crossroad in her life. Rachel, a troubled American war photographer, who is struggling to shed the trauma of her career for a simpler, gentler life. Now she has once again picked up her camera and is headed to Oman to cover a quite different story - for a glossy travel magazine. Sophie Khan, a bubbly British woman struggling to keep up with the glitz of Dubai and ready to give up on love. She has rashly volunteered as Rachel's 'fixer', a job she's never heard of in a country she knows nothing about. And Miza, a young woman living far from her beloved homeland of Zanzibar. As the second wife of Tariq, an Omani man, she remains a secret from his terrifying 'other' wife, Maryam. Until one day, when Tariq fails to come home . . . As the three women journey together across this weird and wonderful land, they are forced to confront their darkest fears and their deepest wishes. Because here in Oman, things aren't always what they appear to be . . .
Kabul Beauty School
Author: Deborah Rodriguez, Kristin Ohlson
Publisher: Random House
Soon after the fall of the Taliban, in 2001, Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan as part of a group offering humanitarian aid to this war-torn nation. Surrounded by men and women whose skills–as doctors, nurses, and therapists–seemed eminently more practical than her own, Rodriguez, a hairdresser and mother of two from Michigan, despaired of being of any real use. Yet she soon found she had a gift for befriending Afghans, and once her profession became known she was eagerly sought out by Westerners desperate for a good haircut and by Afghan women, who have a long and proud tradition of running their own beauty salons. Thus an idea was born. With the help of corporate and international sponsors, the Kabul Beauty School welcomed its first class in 2003. Well meaning but sometimes brazen, Rodriguez stumbled through language barriers, overstepped cultural customs, and constantly juggled the challenges of a postwar nation even as she learned how to empower her students to become their families’ breadwinners by learning the fundamentals of coloring techniques, haircutting, and makeup. Yet within the small haven of the beauty school, the line between teacher and student quickly blurred as these vibrant women shared with Rodriguez their stories and their hearts: the newlywed who faked her virginity on her wedding night, the twelve-year-old bride sold into marriage to pay her family’s debts, the Taliban member’s wife who pursued her training despite her husband’s constant beatings. Through these and other stories, Rodriguez found the strength to leave her own unhealthy marriage and allow herself to love again, Afghan style. With warmth and humor, Rodriguez details the lushness of a seemingly desolate region and reveals the magnificence behind the burqa. Kabul Beauty School is a remarkable tale of an extraordinary community of women who come together and learn the arts of perms, friendship, and freedom. From the Hardcover edition.
"From Kabul to a home by the Mexican sea ... A life-affirming, sea-change memoir by the author of the international bestseller The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul. I hadn't been planning on making Mexico my new home, but the little house on the sea was all that I had left . . .' When her family faces kidnap threats after the publication of her first book, Deborah Rodriguez is forced to flee Kabul, leaving behind her friends, her possessions, the beauty school she helped found and her two beloved businesses: a hair salon and a coffee shop. But life proves no easier back home'. After a year living on top of a mountain in the Napa Valley and teetering on the edge of sanity, Deborah makes a decision. One way or another she's going to get the old Deb back. So, at the age of forty-nine, she packs her life and her cat, Polly, into her Mini Cooper and heads south to a pretty seaside town in Mexico. Home is now an unassuming little house on Carnaval Street. There she struggles to learn Spanish, works out with strippers and spends her Sunday nights watching clowns. And maybe just maybe - the magic of Mexico will finally give her what she's always dreamed of: a lif
The Saffron Kitchen
Author: Yasmin Crowther
In a powerful debut novel that moves between the crowded streets of London and the desolate mountains of Iran, Yasmin Crowther paints a stirring portrait of a family shaken by events from decades ago and worlds away. On a rainy day in London the dark secrets and troubled past of Maryam Mazar surface violently, with tragic consequences for her daughter, Sara, and her newly orphaned nephew. Maryam leaves her English husband and family and returns to the remote Iranian village where her story began. In a quest to piece their life back together, Sara follows her mother and finally learns the terrible price Maryam once had to pay for her freedom, and of the love she left behind. Set against the breathtaking beauty of two very different places, this stunning family drama transcends culture and is, at its core, a rich and haunting narrative about mothers and daughters.
The Swallows of Kabul
Author: Yasmina Khadra
"Surprisingly tender." -- The New York Times Book Review. Set in Kabul under the rule of the Taliban, this extraordinary novel takes readers into the lives of two couples: Mohsen, who comes from a family of wealthy shopkeepers whom the Taliban has destroyed; Zunaira, his wife, exceedingly beautiful, who was once a brilliant teacher and is now no longer allowed to leave her home without an escort or covering her face. Intersecting their world is Atiq, a prison keeper, a man who has sincerely adopted the Taliban ideology and struggles to keep his faith, and his wife, Musarrat, who once rescued Atiq and is now dying of sickness and despair. Desperate, exhausted Mohsen wanders through Kabul when he is surrounded by a crowd about to stone an adulterous woman. Numbed by the hysterical atmosphere and drawn into their rage, he too throws stones at the face of the condemned woman buried up to her waist. With this gesture the lives of all four protagonists move toward their destinies. The Swallows of Kabul is a dazzling novel written with compassion and exquisite detail by one of the most lucid writers about the mentality of Islamic fundamentalists and the complexities of the Muslim world. Yasmina Khadra brings readers into the hot, dusty streets of Kabul and offers them an unflinching but compassionate insight into a society that violence and hypocrisy have brought to the edge of despair.
I hadn't been planning on making Mexico my new home, but the little house on the sea was all that I had left . . . Intimate, honest and touching, this is the story of Deborah Rodriguez's often hilarious journey of self-discovery. Forced to flee her life in Afghanistan, she leaves behind her friends, her possessions and her two beloved businesses: a hair salon and a coffee shop. But life proves no easier 'back home'. After a year living in California where she teeters on the edge of sanity, Deborah makes a decision: she's going to get the old Deb back. So, at the age of forty-nine, she packs her life and her cat, Polly, into her Mini Cooper and heads south to a pretty seaside town in Mexico. Home is now an unassuming little house on Carnaval Street. If you liked Eat, Pray, Love you will love The House on Carnaval Street. Rodriguez's story speaks to every woman, mother, sister, wife - to anyone who has ever questioned their relationships, their place in the world and the choices that they've made.
Author: Deborah Rodriguez
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The author of the best-selling Kabul Beauty School continues her journey of self-discovery after her 2007 flight from Afghanistan, where after experimenting with New Age culture she became a hairdresser in seaside Mexico within a new family of locals and expats.
The Bookseller of Kabul
Author: ¿sne Seierstad
Publisher: Back Bay Books
The Norwegian journalist provides a portrait of a committed Muslim man and his family living in post-Taliban Kabul, Afghanistan.
The New York Times bestseller, written by a former reporter for ABC News, that People magazine called “a transporting, enlightening book” tells the story of a fearless young entrepreneur who brought hope to the lives of dozens of women in war-torn Afghanistan Former ABC journalist Gayle Tzemach Lemmon tells the riveting true story of Kamila Sidiqi and other women of Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban’s fearful rise to power. In what Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, calls “one of the most inspiring books I have ever read,” Lemmon recounts with novelistic vividness the true story of a fearless young woman who not only reinvented herself as an entrepreneur to save her family but, in the face of ferocious opposition, brought hope to the lives of dozens of women in war-torn Kabul.
Return to Sender
Author: Julia Alvarez
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
After Tyler's father is injured in a tractor accident, his family is forced to hire migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure. Tyler isn’ t sure what to make of these workers. Are they undocumented? And what about the three daughters, particularly Mari, the oldest, who is proud of her Mexican heritage but also increasingly connected her American life. Her family lives in constant fear of being discovered by the authorities and sent back to the poverty they left behind in Mexico. Can Tyler and Mari find a way to be friends despite their differences? In a novel full of hope, but no easy answers, Julia Alvarez weaves a beautiful and timely story that will stay with readers long after they finish it.
Return of a King
Author: William Dalrymple
From William Dalrymple—award-winning historian, journalist and travel writer—a masterly retelling of what was perhaps the West’s greatest imperial disaster in the East, and an important parable of neocolonial ambition, folly and hubris that has striking relevance to our own time. With access to newly discovered primary sources from archives in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia and India—including a series of previously untranslated Afghan epic poems and biographies—the author gives us the most immediate and comprehensive account yet of the spectacular first battle for Afghanistan: the British invasion of the remote kingdom in 1839. Led by lancers in scarlet cloaks and plumed helmets, and facing little resistance, nearly 20,000 British and East India Company troops poured through the mountain passes from India into Afghanistan in order to reestablish Shah Shuja ul-Mulk on the throne, and as their puppet. But after little more than two years, the Afghans rose in answer to the call for jihad and the country exploded into rebellion. This First Anglo-Afghan War ended with an entire army of what was then the most powerful military nation in the world ambushed and destroyed in snowbound mountain passes by simply equipped Afghan tribesmen. Only one British man made it through. But Dalrymple takes us beyond the bare outline of this infamous battle, and with penetrating, balanced insight illuminates the uncanny similarities between the West’s first disastrous entanglement with Afghanistan and the situation today. He delineates the straightforward facts: Shah Shuja and President Hamid Karzai share the same tribal heritage; the Shah’s principal opponents were the Ghilzai tribe, who today make up the bulk of the Taliban’s foot soldiers; the same cities garrisoned by the British are today garrisoned by foreign troops, attacked from the same rings of hills and high passes from which the British faced attack. Dalryrmple also makes clear the byzantine complexity of Afghanistan’s age-old tribal rivalries, the stranglehold they have on the politics of the nation and the ways in which they ensnared both the British in the nineteenth century and NATO forces in the twenty-first. Informed by the author’s decades-long firsthand knowledge of Afghanistan, and superbly shaped by his hallmark gifts as a narrative historian and his singular eye for the evocation of place and culture, The Return of a King is both the definitive analysis of the First Anglo-Afghan War and a work of stunning topicality.