Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul: Review + Extract

Gracing the cover of our April issue is Deborah Rodriguez’s long-awaited sequel to her beloved novel The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul. If you haven’t already read this wonderful book, read our review from 2010 when it was first published – we gave it 5 stars! Look out for the Good Reading April edition and read our interview with Debbie to find out about the sequel and what has happened to her treasured characters in Kabul. Or read an extract of the new book here!

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The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul  by Deborah Rodriguez

Sunny — an apt name for the proprietor of this Middle-Eastern coffee shop —welcomes everyone, but a placard near the entrance reads ‘Please check your weapons at the door’. She holds celebrations, employs Bashir Hadi the wonder barista, and Ahmet, who is the guard and son of her crusty landlady, Halajan. She gives sanctuary to beautiful Yazmina, the pregnant widow left to die on the street. She also tries to save Yazmina’s sister from war lords.

Sunny hails from Arkansas, but Kabul has become her home. Taliban influence is growing and danger increases. If the cafe is to prosper it must be reinforced. To raise funds, Sunny organises guest speakers. Thus she meets Isabel, a feisty English journalist, and Candace, a glamorous American with all the right connections. Wakil has taken Candace into his bed —but is he honest?

Love, patience and tolerance generally prevail, but Ahmet’s fundamentalism threatens them all. Halajan and her long-term lover, Rashid, may never wed. Sunny, too, has romantic complications. Rodriguez left Afghanistan in 2007 after establishing the Kabul Beauty School and a coffee shop, so her novel is enriched with firsthand insights into Afghan life. The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul is a feel-good romance with bite — and not just because of the recipes!

Five stars – Bantam $19.99

Reviewed by Barbara Barker

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