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A Cup of Friendship

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Audio Download published by Random House Digital (Random House Digital)

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About This Book
From the author of the “bighearted . . . inspiring” (Vogue) memoir Kabul Beauty School comes a fiction debut as compelling as real life: the story of a remarkable coffee shop in the heart of Afghanistan, and the men and women who meet there—thrown together by circumstance, bonded by secrets, and united in an extraordinary friendship.

After hard luck and some bad choices, Sunny has finally found a place to call home—it just happens to be in the middle of a war zone. The thirty-eight-year-old American’s pride and joy is the Kabul Coffee House, where she brings hospitality to the expatriates, misfits, missionaries, and mercenaries who stroll through its doors. She’s especially grateful that the busy days allow her to forget Tommy, the love of her life, who left her in pursuit of money and adventure.

Working alongside Sunny is the maternal Halajan, who vividly recalls the days before the Taliban and now must hide a modern romance from her ultratraditional son—who, unbeknownst to her, is facing his own religious doubts. Into the café come Isabel, a British journalist on the trail of a risky story; Jack, who left his family back home in Michigan to earn “danger pay” as a consultant; and Candace, a wealthy and well-connected American whose desire to help threatens to cloud her judgment.

When Yazmina, a young Afghan from a remote village, is kidnapped and left on a city street pregnant and alone, Sunny welcomes her into the café and gives her a home—but Yazmina hides a secret that could put all their lives in jeopardy. As this group of men and women discover that there’s more to one another than meets the eye, they’ll form an unlikely friendship that will change not only their own lives but the lives of an entire country.

Brimming with Deborah Rodriguez’s remarkable gift for depicting the nuances of life in Kabul, and filled with vibrant characters that readers will truly care about, A Cup of Friendship is the best kind of fiction—full of heart yet smart and thought-provoking.
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From the author of the “bighearted . . . inspiring” (Vogue) memoir Kabul Beauty School comes a fiction debut as compelling as real life: the story of a remarkable coffee shop in the heart of Afghanistan, and the men and women who meet there—thrown together by circumstance, bonded by secrets, and united in an extraordinary friendship.

After hard luck and some bad choices, Sunny has finally found a place to call home—it just happens to be in the middle of a war zone. The thirty-eight-year-old American’s pride and joy is the Kabul Coffee House, where she brings hospitality to the expatriates, misfits, missionaries, and mercenaries who stroll through its doors. She’s especially grateful that the busy days allow her to forget Tommy, the love of her life, who left her in pursuit of money and adventure.

Working alongside Sunny is the maternal Halajan, who vividly recalls the days before the Taliban and now must hide a modern romance from her ultratraditional son—who, unbeknownst to her, is facing his own religious doubts. Into the café come Isabel, a British journalist on the trail of a risky story; Jack, who left his family back home in Michigan to earn “danger pay” as a consultant; and Candace, a wealthy and well-connected American whose desire to help threatens to cloud her judgment.

When Yazmina, a young Afghan from a remote village, is kidnapped and left on a city street pregnant and alone, Sunny welcomes her into the café and gives her a home—but Yazmina hides a secret that could put all their lives in jeopardy. As this group of men and women discover that there’s more to one another than meets the eye, they’ll form an unlikely friendship that will change not only their own lives but the lives of an entire country.

Brimming with Deborah Rodriguez’s remarkable gift for depicting the nuances of life in Kabul, and filled with vibrant characters that readers will truly care about, A Cup of Friendship is the best kind of fiction—full of heart yet smart and thought-provoking.
Product Details
Audio Download
Published: November 15, 2012
Publisher: Random House Digital
Imprint: Random House Digital
ISBN: 9780307879189
Other books byDeborah Rodriguez
  • Kabul Beauty School

    Kabul Beauty School
    An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil
    Soon after the fall of the Taliban, in 2001, Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan as part of a group offering humanitarian aid to this war-torn nation. Surrounded by men and women whose skills–as doctors, nurses, and therapists–seemed eminently more practical than her own, Rodriguez, a hairdresser and mother of two from Michigan, despaired of being of any real use. Yet she soon found she had a gift for befriending Afghans, and once her profession became known she was eagerly sought out by Westerners desperate for a good haircut and by Afghan women, who have a long and proud tradition of running their own beauty salons. Thus an idea was born. With the help of corporate and international sponsors, the Kabul Beauty School welcomed its first class in 2003. Well meaning but sometimes brazen, Rodriguez stumbled through language barriers, overstepped cultural customs, and constantly juggled the challenges of a postwar nation even as she learned how to empower her students to become their families’ breadwinners by learning the fundamentals of coloring techniques, haircutting, and makeup. Yet within the small haven of the beauty school, the line between teacher and student quickly blurred as these vibrant women shared with Rodriguez their stories and their hearts: the newlywed who faked her virginity on her wedding night, the twelve-year-old bride sold into marriage to pay her family’s debts, the Taliban member’s wife who pursued her training despite her husband’s constant beatings. Through these and other stories, Rodriguez found the strength to leave her own unhealthy marriage and allow herself to love again, Afghan style. With warmth and humor, Rodriguez details the lushness of a seemingly desolate region and reveals the magnificence behind the burqa. Kabul Beauty School is a remarkable tale of an extraordinary community of women who come together and learn the arts of perms, friendship, and freedom. From the Hardcover edition.

    The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul (originally published as A Cup of Friendship)

    The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul (originally published as A Cup of Friendship)
    A Novel
    After hard luck and heartbreak, Sunny finally finds a place to call home—in the middle of an Afghanistan war zone. There, the thirty-eight-year-old serves up her American hospitality to the expats who patronize her coffee shop, including a British journalist, a “danger pay” consultant, and a wealthy and well-connected woman. True to her name, Sunny also bonds with people whose language and landscape are unfamiliar to most Westerners, but whose hearts and souls are very much like our own: the maternal Halajan, who vividly recalls the days before the Taliban and now must hide a modern romance from her ultratraditional son; and Yazmina, a young Afghan villager with a secret that could put everyone’s life in jeopardy. In this gorgeous first novel, New York Times bestselling author Deborah Rodriguez paints a stirring portrait of a faraway place where—even in the fog of political and social conflict—friendship, passion, and hope still exist.    Originally published as A Cup of Friendship   Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more. RandomHouseReadersCircle.com

    Escuela de Belleza de Kabul (Kabul Beauty School)

    Escuela de Belleza de Kabul (Kabul Beauty School)
    Tras la caída del régimen talibán, Deborah Rodriguez, peluquera y madre de dos hijos, viajó a Afganistán como parte de un grupo de ayuda humanitaria. Una vez allí, no sabía muy bien lo que ella podría ofrecer a este país destrozado por la guerra. Pero pronto descubrió que su profesión, más que un obstáculo, era una bendición, y en cuanto se corrió la voz de que una peluquera había llegado a Kabul, todos, occidentales y afganos, querían pedir cita para un buen corte de pelo. Y así nació la idea… Con la ayuda de empresas y patrocinadores internacionales, la Escuela de Belleza de Kabul, con Rodriguez al mando, impartió su primera clase en 2003. Un lugar este en el que superar las barreras culturales y los retos que ofrecía un país en posguerra. Un lugar que se convirtió en refugio para unas mujeres que no sólo aprendieron a peinar y a maquillar, sino también a abrir su corazón y a compartir sus increíbles y, a veces, enternecedoras historias. Fue así como esta peluquera norteamericana encontró fuerzas para romper con un matrimonio enfermizo y encontrar un nuevo amor, esta vez al estilo afgano. Con cariño y humor, Deborah Rodriguez detalla la exuberancia de una región aparentemente desolada y revela la magnificencia que hay detrás del burka en esta conmovedora historia real. Escuela de Belleza de Kabul es un admirable relato sobre una extraordinaria comunidad de mujeres que se unieron para aprender el arte de las permanentes, de la amistad y de la supervivencia.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • It was a vibrant blue-skied Afghan morning, the kind that Made Yazmina stop to loosen her scarf and tilt her face to the sun.

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