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Literature / The Little Coffee Shop Of Kabul

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The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul is a Slice of Life novel by Deborah Rodriguez.

Sunny is a young American woman who runs a little coffee shop in the heart of Kabul, Afghanistan. Helping her is Halajan, a woman old enough to remember pre-Taliban Afghanistan, and her son, Ashmet, who is very rooted in tradition. Soon they are joined by Yazmina, a young pregnant woman who was bought by sex traders before being dumped on the street.


Also present in the story is Candace, a rich American woman who wants to help Afghans to better their lives, and Isabel, an Intrepid Reporter who always wants to pursue the big stories.

The story follows the lives of these people as they live, connect, argue, and learn about each other.

The story was released on January 25th, 2011.

The Little Coffee Shop Of Kabul contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: There's plenty of examples.
    • Yazmina is a young pregnant woman from a poor Afghan village who's uncle had to sell her to the gang that was threatening their farm. Then, when they find out she's not a virgin, they throw her on the street to fend for herself. Then she has to keep her pregnancy a secret since her husband was killed, lest she be executed.
    • There's also her younger sister. Yazmina knows that the gang will come for her next, and is worried for her life.
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    • Halajan is a woman old enough to remember the pre-Taliban days. She's in love with a man she wasn't promised to, and the two continue to pine for each other even into their golden years. However, she has to keep it a secret from Ashmet, knowing that he would never approve because of how traditional he is.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Isabel was killed in an explosion, and Sunny is returning to America, but Ashmet has finally decided to accept the non-traditional customs of his mom and allow her to marry Rashif. Ashmet marries Yazmina after accepting that Yazmina is pregnant with a dead man's baby. Yazmina's younger sister was saves from a potential life as a Sex Slave. Finally, Ashmet, Yazmina, Halajan, and Rashif continue to run the coffee shop after Sunny leaves.
  • December–December Romance: Halajan and Rashif. They've been secretly conversing via letters for years. At the end of the book, they finally decide to get married.
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  • Intrepid Reporter: Isabel. She's all about exposing the really big stories.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Yazmina tries to keep her pregnancy a secret because she's afraid she'll be executed. Thankfully, most of the coffee shop employees are very understanding, though Ashmet needs some time to accept it.
  • Slice of Life: The book is mainly about the lives of the employees and their friends.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Halajan and Rashif fancy each other, but were arranged to different people by their own families. They can't be open about their relationship because of how deeply traditional Ashmet is.
  • Suicide Attack: Isabel is killed by one.


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