The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul: The heart-warming and uplifting international bestseller
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There wasn't much of Yasmina in this book compared to the prequel but I gues what was included was enough.
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Through it all run the wonderful characters of the first novel, joined by some new equally endearing characters from both Kabul and Twimbly Island - Layla and Kat, two displaced Afghanistan teenagers trying to get used to life in America; Zara, an Afghani student facing an arranged marriage with a man she despises and Joe and Skye, Sunny's new team on Twimbly. Whilst I felt the plot picked up pace two-thirds of the way through, the ending was a bit rushed and weak. She feels out of place, she feels the disconnection with the world that she known, the busy restless and uncertainty life in Kabul.The character Sunny, definitely lives up to her name; there is no over emphasis on any of the negative situations she or her friends find themselves in. I enjoyed this book for the most part but I do wish we could’ve had more of an insight into Kat’s life before her trauma and her life in general.
There are so many people like Kat and others like Layla, different flowers that bloomed from the same soil.
I got great pleasure out of Yazmina standing up to Ahmet, and I largely enjoyed Halajan's answers to a lot of the questions raised, but overall I found that the novel tried to open some big questions but then was too afraid or unable to look at them more deeply, and settled for a cliched ending instead. But she does not despair in her misery - Halajan is positive, and hopeful, and willing to speak her thoughts to whoever will listen - she is the epitome of a strong-willed woman in a male dominated world.
But I like them in the way that they are driven entirely by women, that is not something I read a lot. I'm so glad that Deborah Rodriguez gave us the chance to be transported a few years forward and experience the dramatic, life-changing journey that makes her characters that we have come to love, grow, love, and learn. She not only hones in on the struggle of women in Afghanistan on a much more intense level, but through Sunny, she begs the question of whether or not the heart can move on from a country it never truly leaves, and through Layla and Kat, she tackles the complex nature of belonging to two countries, but not really belonging in one place at all - and it was these themes that she addressed that gives her characters, and by extent her novel, such admirable depth.I hope Zara come to terms with Omar death and finds somebody who loves her and she gets married and has babies and she's safe from faheem. I was sad to read that yazmina was nearly hit in her stomach by a bullet glad she was missed because she is pregnant with her second child I wonder if she has another daughter or her first son. Let us just hope, that sometime – in our lifetimes – Afghanistan will find a way of combining Islam, tradition and modernity to create a country that is uniquely Afghan, not ruled or directed by foreigners.