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Extended Audio Sample A Cup of Friendship: A Novel, by Deborah Rodriguez Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,216 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Deborah Rodriguez Narrator: Mozhan Marnò Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Warm and disarming. Sunday Age (Australia)
  • An eye-opening and uplifting tale of sisterhood and survival. Grazia (Australia)
  • A heart-warming tale about female friendships. Cosmopolitan (Australia)
  • Charming…[a book] to warm your heart. Good Housekeeping
  • [A] fast-paced winner of a novel...Readers of every political stripe will find A Cup of Friendship the work of a serious artist with great powers of description at her disposal. Minneapolis Star-Tribune; Kansas City Star
  • Rodriguez paints a vivid picture of Afghan culture…as if Maeve Binchy had written The Kite Runner. Kirkus Reviews
  • A great book club read. Library Journal
  • A superb debut novel…Rodriguez captures place and people wholeheartedly, unveiling the faces of Afghanistan's women through a wealth of memorable characters who light up the page. Publishers Weekly
  • With a message…to protect and empower the women of Kabul, Rodriguez weaves her tale of life, death, and marriage…Readers will appreciate the in-depth, sensory descriptions of this oft-mentioned and faraway place that most have never seen. Booklist
  • Engrossing. Fans of the author’s best-selling memoir, Kabul Beauty School, should be looking for this one, and other readers will quickly discover it, especially those with an interest in current events in the Middle East or for lovers of cross-cultural tales. Library Journal
  • I loved it...Ensemble casts of characters I wish I could meet, centered around a dynamic female presence. Matter of fact love and humor. Great food and place writing. Elizabeth Willse
  • Endearingly frank . . . inspirational and engaging. The Washington Post
  • Fascinating . . . lively and honest. USA Today
  • [A] rollicking story . . . transcends the feel-good genre largely because of the author’s superior storytelling gifts and wicked sense of humor. The New York Times
  • Delightful . . . [a] bighearted and entertaining memoir. Entertainment Weekly
  • Composed of heartbreak, hope, poignancy and candor . . . Kabul Beauty School is laid out masterfully, pulling readers in from the very first page. Los Angeles Times
  • The story here is more about the complexity and, ultimately, importance of bonds that transcend culture and circumstance. Bookpage 
  • Offers stories about the complex lives of women and the many ways their friendships transcend culture. San Antonio Express-News
  • They laugh, cry and love their way through trouble and triumph. You’ll read it in one sitting. Weekend West (Australia)
  • A brilliant story of strength and appreciation of difference that, surprisingly, restores belief in humanity. Daily Telegraph (Australia)
  • A perfect summer read. Sunday Herald Sun (Australia)
  • The story of these women’s friendship is immensely rewarding and one that tells of a place and time where love can still change everything. Courier Mail (Australia)
  • This warm-hearted story will make you laugh, then cry and be concerned at how some women have to live in such a dangerous country. Woman’s Day (Australia)
  • [A] jaw-dropping true story, alternately hilarious and moving . . . The school was both an oasis and an opportunity. New York Daily News
  • Rodriguez’s first work of fiction hums along with humour and understanding. Australian Women’s Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jodi | 2/20/2014

    " Sunny, as ex-pat in Kabul, has finally found the family she's craved in the coffee bar she owns and runs. It's a motley crew, a pregnant widow who will likely be stoned if anyone learns her secret, an older widow, her landlady, being courted by a tailor without her son's consent, a Hazzarah barista and cook, a couple of spies and mercaries, a British reporter, an American fundraiser and a host of others. There is tragedy and comedy and a war because after all this is Afghanistan where women are chattel and worth less than goats. Though the reading is quite good, Rodriguez bites off a lot in this novel, more than can adequately be chewed. There are so many sub-plots and so many wrap up so neatly. Sure, there are a few that end sadly, but even those are almost glossed over as part of war. I wish she had taken only a few and entwined those and created a thicker thread to pull on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Catherine Hensen | 2/16/2014

    " I enjoyed this book. It was fairly light reading but touched on some important issues. Gave you things to think about in everyday life in another country and what other people, in this case women, have to deal with. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Peta Tynan | 2/6/2014

    " I quite enjoyed this boy meets girl easy read. The setting added extra interest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Jane | 2/2/2014

    " Thought that Khaled Hosseini's "A Hundred Thousand Suns" much better than this one. Found the character descriptions a bit cheesy in description. "

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