I started reading this book last year and have only recently finished it, I made the poor decision of starting it just before my wedding and therefore it wasn’t long before it sadly got pushed to the side. I finally picked it up again in the New Year and have recently finished it. This book is set in Kabul, Afghanistan where an American woman called Sunny has set up a café. This book chronicles her life and that of her friends as their stories intertwine to tell of the culture in Afghanistan and what life is like for those visiting it. I loved how it brought together the different opinions and thoughts of those visiting Afghanistan whilst pointing out the traditional rules those are expected to live by. It really highlighted what life is like for women under the control of their husbands, brothers and sons whilst showing some Afghani individuals want freedom and a life outside of the rules.
I thought the inclusion of such a tough topic like the treatment of woman in a strict country was an important angle. It’s something that needs discussed and highlighted at this day in age. It looked at how women are treated when their husbands pass away and what they are allowed to do with regards to meeting someone new. It shows how women can be used as payment and finally how the justice system lets down women as they can be imprisoned for not fulfilling their marriage and more.
I was also shocked to see that suicide bombs and terrorist attacks also played a big part in the book. Sunny was constantly trying to make her café safer for her customers with attacks happening all over Kabul. I was ignorant to life in Afghanistan until I read this book but I found it as a real eye opener to the life and culture.
I found this book a little slow in places and hard to read but other than that I really enjoyed it. There was an eclectic group of characters all with different personalities which brought a variety to the plot. I couldn’t help but think the book started out with Sunny as the protagonist but over time it altered to include all the characters on an even basis.
I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars as it was a nice and easy read even if I struggled in places. However I don’t know if I will read the book that follows.