What’s it about?
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 her husband for her Afghan lover, the enigmatic Wakil.
ISABEL, a determined journalist with a secret that might keep her from the biggest story of her life.
And HALAJAN, the sixty-year-old den mother, whose long-hidden love affair breaks all the rules.
As these five women discover there’s more to one another than meets the eye, they form a unique bond that will for ever change their lives and the lives of many others.
I read this book as I was going to attend a new book group and this was their first chosen read. It wouldn’t have been a book I’d usually pick up as I have this preconception that any book titled “The Little____of/by the____” is going to be a women’s fiction romance which is not generally my cup of tea or preferred read; that’s kind of the impression I got from the cover too and in some ways the book did fulfill that idea.
Having said that, I enjoyed the book and read it quite quickly. The author obviously has intimate knowledge of Kabul which comes across in her writing and conveying the hardships of Afghan life to the reader.
However, I don’t think it’s meant to be a deep analytical view of life for women living in Afghanistan, native or not, as it I think it just skims the surface of dark subjects. I liked the characters: their strong-willed determination and dependability and the book very much centres around their love stories and friendships (nothing wrong with that, for the record) but I thought it quite predictable. It is a lighter way of experiencing what must be an extremely difficult and threatening places to live.
But if you’re after a novel which is more gritty and hard-hitting A Thousand Splendid Suns is the book to go to.
Small print for info
No of pages: 416