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A Cup of Friendship (The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul #1)

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  12,510 Ratings  ·  1,563 Reviews

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 h

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Random House (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jade F. I loved it and I am anything but naive. De gustibus non est disputandum: literally, taste is not disputable. To each his own!
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 20, 2012 Libby rated it did not like it
Shelves: cheeseburger
I HATE chick-lit, to me it is not a genre, its an insult. The rampant vapid female consumerism, "frothy" plots, whiny heroines and stereotypes drive me mad. A Cup of Friendship or The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul is not the worst kind of chick-lit. It does attempt to have an interesting storyline, an exotic but gritty setting and female characters who are not obsessed with shoes and brand names. However, it is full of stereotypes, poorly fleshed out characters and implausible ending. The plot con ...more
Nov 13, 2013 Sadia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This has to be one of the worst books I've ever had the displeasure of reading.

I started reading it knowing it was written by an American woman who had spent many years in Afghanistan, so hoping the story would sound authentic- not westernised. I was wrong. It is a westernised novel- if you can call it that- centred around an American woman looking to have fun in a foreign country.

If you're after a quick read- something that doesn't make you think- this is the one for you.

Personally, I think
aPriL does feral sometimes
One thing I liked about this novel: an ordinary American woman who has extraordinary gumption wrote it. The author's life as an American hairdresser was changed by 9/11. Deborah Rodriguez is an amazing person. She finagled her way onto a medical mission to Afghanistan although she was a hairdresser and not a doctor. Despite incredible risk to herself, she started the Kabul Beauty School for women. Because of her life in Kabul and her marriage to a Muslim Afghan, she is able to expose, to some de ...more
Sep 07, 2014 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, romance, kindle
This book grabbed my interest when I read a review of it in my paper...They offer discounted prices on the book they review, I went the Kindle route instead and it was still cheaper.

How can I give my review....I...Hmm..

I wanted to love this book but couldn't....It has an okay background but the characters seem a bit "fluffy" and they don't have much behind them though they "pretend" too. If this was just a romantic romp then I could say 'Fine' and be happy with the flat characters but in this bo
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to a question, proceed to the next question. If you answer no at any time, drop this book immediately and find a clerk to direct you to nonfiction or action/adventure books.

1. Do you need a book for your next business trip/vacation/weekend retreat?

2. Do you prefer fiction over nonfiction?

3. Do you like exotic locations for your stories?

4. Do you now or have you ever in the past watched daytime soaps?

5. Are you a woman?

Are you with me so fa
Nov 12, 2011 Nichola rated it it was ok
This book didn't really work for me. At first I was irritated by the 'let me work in lots of foreign words and explain these different cultural viewpoints to you' tone. Then I couldn't get into the characters, since they didn't seem to bond with each other, and then were shown working together as very close friends quite suddenly. Actually, several plotlines seemed to drag on and then suddenly resolve themselves, often outside the story. Issues with the young woman's sister, and adult son's inte ...more
Dec 25, 2013 Louise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Knowing how much I adored The Kite Runner my lovely husband chose The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul for me as a Christmas present as it is compared with Hosseini's masterpiece on the cover. Unfortunately, he didn't realise that what the caption actually says is "As if Maeve Binchy had written the Kite Runner". So I approached this cautiously, it screams "Chick-Lit" but it is set in contemporary Afghanistan. Interesting mixture!
The central character of the novel is Sunny, a native of the American S
Tara Chevrestt
This has been a wonderful read. I found myself completey immersed in another world and felt as though I came to know the characters of this story intimately.

Sunny is an American from Missouri trying to make a new life in Afghanistan. She's runs a coffee house that welcomes Afghans, Americans, UN workers, and employs a fascinating mixture of people. She loves Afghanistan, but the rise in violence and possible re emergence of the Taliban is making the country unsafe for her and her coffee shop. S
Apr 04, 2014 Alice rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
My thoughts:

The story is located in the heart of Kabul, during war time and narrates the story of five different women. They have almost nothing in common, nothing but the fact that they all hang out at the same coffee shop in Kabul. Some of the events that take place during the novel will bring them all together and as the story unfolds we witness secrets being revealed, fear and anger take over, issues of heart being solved or not, all in the heart of war.

What I enjoyed the most about this b
Nov 16, 2014 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, afghanistan
This is a warm romantic novel set in a harsh county. Like the main character, the author had a successful enterprise in Kabul and knew what a job it was to get a generator and keep it running.

The main character’s name is “Sunny” and despite the recurring and wide spread abuse of women depicted in many parts of this novel, it has a sunny feel. It not a page turner, but it is a fast read. The content makes it something like chick lit with in “exotic” locale. The story is simple, and sweet. By the
Oct 13, 2013 Phrynne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book two stars rather than one because I did at least finish it. On the cover it is described as Maeve Binchy meets the Kite Runner. I do not think this is a compliment. The story itself is lightweight romantic fiction with happy endings for most of the main characters and one death as an acknowledgement of the setting which is war torn Afghanistan. The author has lived there herself and her poliitical views are voiced through some of the characters in a very unrealistic way. Overall ...more
Salma Agroudy
May 02, 2017 Salma Agroudy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“You will find that thing that makes you unafraid to die. That important thing that makes your life of value.”

Damn, it feels really good to finish a book (blame uni).

Do you ever read a book and feel neutral about it even though you really enjoyed it? For starter, it was nice to read about something different for change; different traditions, country, etc, but i think my lack of knowledge about Afghanistan prevented me from enjoying the book more than i did. There are things, though, that i love
Spirited Stardust
Aug 20, 2011 Spirited Stardust rated it it was ok
Even though it was set in the middle east and tried to incorporate the very real dangers women (and men) face the book felt like a 'soap opera' to me. The dialogue was outright corny at times and it did feel very 'westernised'and watered down so as not to be too graphic or controversial.

My favourite character was probably Halajan, although I did also like Yasmina. But I really didn't believe the 'metamorphosis' of some of the characters, particalarly one who had been set in the traditional ways
Aug 16, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will confess that this surprised me a bit. Based on the blurb, I thought I would be reading a rather cheery book...until I read the opening scene, which begins with a young Afghani girl being torn from her family as a human payment for a debt to a drug lord. As Yazmina shivered in the back of the black Land Rover, facing her hideous destiny as prostitute (unless she dies the minute they find out that she is pregnant), I seriously considered dumping the book - I really can't deal with sexual ab ...more
Nov 12, 2013 Maz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I probably wouldn't have bought this myself as the cover has chick lit written all over it, but I was given the book as a present and I love reading about Afghanistan so I thought I'd give it a try. I must admit that at first the writing style grated on me almost enough to call it quits at a couple of stages but I persevered and I'm really glad I did. Although the story may be a little idealistic and facile at times, there is a sincere undercurrent of friendship, love and overcoming adversity th ...more
This book turned out to be a much lighter affair than I was expecting. It is more like a romantic chick lit story albeit set in the troubled city of Kabul. Sunny, a heartbroken American, runs the eponymous coffee shop which is visited by a range of characters from an American consultant, British journalist etc.. There are Afghan characters like Halajan who helps to run the cafe and a pregnant Yazmina, who makes the cafe her home.

The most interesting characters are the Afghans but their character
Avril Dalton
Dec 22, 2013 Avril Dalton rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just didn't like it. Probably expected too much. Khaled hosseini set the benchmark and this comes nowhere near.
Louise at The Reading Experiment
Chick lit meets the Taliban in The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul (also published under the title A Cup of Friendship).

This unlikely pairing creates a warm-hearted read with a serious message about the treatment of women in modern day Afghanistan.

It tells the story of five women – two Americans, one British and two Afghans – and the friendship they forge in a little coffee shop in the centre of Kabul.

It’s evident that American author Deborah Rodriguez loves Kabul, the city she called home for five
Alex Nye
Sep 27, 2014 Alex Nye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am currently reading The little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriquez and thoroughly enjoying it. The author has managed to take one of the most dangerous places on the planet - Afghanistan - and present it in a positive light despite the horrors regularly unfolding.

What I like about this book so far is its unequivocal and honest spotlight onto the issues of women's rights, but in such a down-to-earth manner that all she does is tell the facts, portray it as it is. I haven't read far into
Amina Miah
Jul 28, 2014 Amina Miah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm only writing this review to clear one thing up, though there are so many stereotypical inaccuracies in this book its ridiculous. Muhammad (upon him be peace) is not to Islam or Muslims what Jesus (upon him be peace) is to Christianity or Christians. Muhammad (upon him be peace) is not a deity nor is he treated as such by Muslims. He is the last and final messenger of God. Just as Islam treats Jesus as a prophet and Abraham and Noah and Adam.
Going back to the book itself, it had good intentio
Apr 06, 2016 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time, and I'm glad I've finally read it.

The story is set in Kabul and revolves around a coffee shop run by Sunny, an American, and centres on the lives of five women and the men in their lives.

It was fascinating looking at their relationships against the backdrop of Kabul shortly after 911, and the differences between cultures.

I would have liked to know a bit more about a couple of the women, especially Candace and Isabel, but that didn't sto
There were some interesting and deep concepts in this book (treatment of women in Afghanistan, terrorism, the tension between old faith and modern times, to name a few), but it isn’t written in a way that is deep and profound. The overall tone of the book is light and it feels like there is no earth-shattering events happening - although there is, at times literally earth-shattering! It was a pleasant read, although I’m not sure whether I’d continue on with the sequel.
May 16, 2017 Louise rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
wasn't expecting much after reading the reviews for this book. I am pretty clueless when it comes to Afghan culture so couldn't really say how true to life it is, although some of the narrative did come across as patronising. However the stories regarding developing your identity and forming friendships were nice and relevant in all contexts.
Apr 25, 2012 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This novel tells the story of several different people who are linked through an American woman's coffee shop in Kabul. Sunny, the owner of the coffee shop, has traveled to Kabul with her boyfriend, trying to escape from Nowheresville, Arkansas (straight from the book). There is Halajan, the owner of the building, a modernist Afghan woman and her traditional son, Ahmet. There is Yazmina, the young and pregnant widow taken from her home and rescued by Sunny. Isabel and Candace, also Westerners, a ...more
Lisa Kirwan
This is the first review that I've written on here. Having just read 'The Kite Runner', I was eager to learn more about the gorgeous culture that I'd had a glimpse of in Khaled Hosseini's beautiful novel. I am a sucker for a bit of 'chick lit' as I find it so easy to read and escape to. I just didn't get this book and what it was trying to do. Its message seemed to be one of importance but the bias was too much for me, it didn't feel authentic, not to mention I found the characters thoroughly ha ...more
Cheyenne Blue
This was lent to me by HRH Princess Chloemuffin's* mum, Jane. Jane loved it, but from the start I found it meh. 5 women meet and become friends in a coffee shop in Kabul. 5 disparate women, 5 disparate lives. Did I say Meh? I wanted to like this, but, although I finished it, I was very ho-hum about the whole thing. It was too pat, too cliched, too cosy. Too glossed over. Not every book about Afghanistan has to be full of angst and drama like "A Thousand Splendid Suns", but this was the other ext ...more
Jul 07, 2011 Carol rated it liked it
A Cup of Friendship

The beginning of this book held my interest and met my expectations of learning more about the culture, traditions, and struggles of the Afghans. The author wrote about customs forced on women in this area and the way they are treated, which provided much food for thought and heightened my gratefulness for living in a country of freedom and opportunities. However, as I read further, it became a lighter read, leaning more toward chick-lit. I have no objections to these types of
Ange Rogers
2.5 stars for this slow starter unfortunately. I don't know if it was the foreign setting or the plot lines that were slow to go anywhere or the traditional language used that made it very stop start reading for me. It was too easy to put the book down and it gave me no real desire pick it back up again.
Apr 13, 2017 Dymbula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Deborah Rodriguez is a hairdresser, a motivational speaker, and the author of the bestselling memoir Kabul Beauty School.
She spent five years teaching at and later directing the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan. Rodriguez also owned the Oasis Salon and the Cabul Coffee House.
She currently lives in Mexico.
More about Deborah Rodriguez...

Other Books in the Series

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul (2 books)
  • Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul (The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul #2)

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“Women are like tea bags; you never know how strong they are until they’re put in hot water. — ELEANOR ROOSEVELT” 17 likes
“People, even those closest to you, are surprising...Nobody is everything they seem.” 10 likes
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