REVIEW: The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul

‘It’s as if everybody thinks that Afghans are theirs for the taking. It’s as if we’re not real people with hearts and minds of our own. It’s as if we’re animals who need humans to shape us. By Muhammad, I know that if more of us had some education and could read, we would be a mighty force. We could rule our own lives.’

Why Did I Read This Book?

I am a huge fan of Khaled Hosseini’s novels and have been ever since reading The Kite Runner during college. The imagery he creates with his honest and heartbreaking depictions of Kabul and Afghanistan during the reign of both Soviet Russia and the Taliban is enough to shock any reader to their core. Yet his writing has inspired me to read more on this particular topic. I have wanted to read The Little Coffeeshop of Kabul for some time now, and it was definitely worth the wait.

What Did I Think?

Having grown accustomed to nothing being sacred or long-lasting in a Khaled Hosseini novel, I was expecting everything to go wrong. However, this book is so different from what I thought it would be. It focuses on relationships and how everyday life was affected by both political and religious restrictions. 

The book features multiple protagonists and there are some very raw and harrowing moments in each of their stories that prove the true hardship in living your life with various constrictions imposed by war and religion. However, what is so touching about this novel is that love always prevails, making this more a story about love rather than destruction. 

Alike Hosseini, Deborah Rodriguez writes so beautifully about Kabul, making you feel like you are right there with her.

‘It was as if you could see into the sky, through its layers, and into its core. Layers of stars, translucent blanket upon blanket. The beauty was overwhelming. The wind blew her hair, and she willed herself to stop, to breathe, to feel.’

Also, similar to Hosseini, Deborah Rodriguez is also an activist and humanitarian. She specialises in helping women out of relationships of domestic violence and chaotic circumstances, which is perhaps why this book and the stories featured within its pages are so candid and heartwarming. 

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