Afghanistan and its capital Kabul are so far away. I read about the wars waged in Afghanistan and occasionally suicide bombers blowing themselves up in crowded places killing many people. That is about how much I know of this country.
When I picked up the book, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul written by Deborah Rodriguez, I did not know what to expect. It is a fictional novel with the cental figure Sunny, an American, running the coffee shop right in Kabul. Will it be a terrible revelation of the lives of the Afghans and the sufferings endured by these people? That it would be sad to read this book?
Deborah Rodriguez wrote beautiful stories of five women coming together in the coffee shop. Despite the traditional norms of Afghan people and the lowly status of women in the society, the author was able to use love to open the hearts of people to respect the female characters in the story.
After reading this novel, I was moved to appreciate lives in this relatively trouble-free country I am in. There were several moving moments as the author narrated the story. The truth of the terrible living conditions was not glossed over. Amid all the sadness, there were happy moments that overwhelmed the lives of the characters in the story. Love triumphs all else.
Deborah Rodriguez had lived in Kabul for five years since 2002. That is sufficient reason to read this book. Furthermore, her style of writing was easy going and she acknowleged that she is a storyteller first and writer only later.