Sunny's pride and joy is her Coffee House, home to the expatriates, misfits, missionaries, and mercenaries. Working alongside her is Halajan, who hides a romance from her traditional son - who faces his own doubts. Into the café come Isabel, a British journalist; Jack, who left his family in America; Yazmina, a pregnant girl left on the street; and Candace, a well-connected American.
As they discover there’s more to one another, they’ll form a friendship that will change an entire country.

“People, even those closest to you, are surprising...Nobody is everything they seem.”

The tale of five awesome women who go out and kick life right in the ass, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul was everything I had hoped it would be and more! Heartbreaking, beautiful, challenging and inspiring, this story questions good and bad, tradition and progress, right and wrong.

Whimsical and energetic, this book practically pulses with rich life, and draws you into the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan. The writing is amazing, flowing through the connected yet vastly different lives of the five main ladies with ease. I felt fully immersed in the story, hanging on to the end.

Sunny is the spunky and relaxed owner of the most popular coffee house in all of Kabul. She is content with what she has and doesn't search or aim for anything more from her life. She loves fully, with all her heart, and is such a kind, understanding person that I couldn’t help but love her and root for her in everything.

The boss and the rebel, Halajan is just about the coolest old lady around! I love that she can see the world so clearly, as only one who has lived in it for a long time can. Her willingness to protect her loved ones goes beyond reason and she is a truly beautiful, and badass, woman.

Isabel is the kind of person I would feel honoured to have crossed paths with. I adore her for her commitment to her work and her aims of making a difference in the world, despite her less than fortunate circumstances. She is intelligent and creative, and I absolutely love her work.

As for Candace, she isn’t exactly my piece of cake. Brash and arrogant, she’s unable to see the way her words and actions affect those around her. In such a place as Afghanistan it isn’t difficult to insult someone, but she doesn’t seem to care about that. And yet, I found myself liking her by the end; she is a force to be reckoned with, powerful, influential, and able to inspire a longing for change.

And, at last, there is Yazmina. My absolute favourite of the five, Yazmina is the sweetest person around. She never asks for more than what can be spared and never truly believes herself worthy of protection or care. She has the purest, most sincere soul and deserves the world. Yazmina is a gentle, loving and intelligent young woman stuck in a terrible situation who just gets on with things, never letting anything stop her and never thinking of her own needs before anyone else’s. She doesn’t let a bad situation ruin her.

I feel I need to say a few words on our leading men, so I’ll keep it short. Jack is a sweet guy; easily hurt, hilarious, genuine and a loving friend. Sunny and Jack in the same room can probably be classed as dangerous – that much wit between two people could bring out the chaos. 
 Halajan’s traditional son, Ahmet, is trapped by his beliefs and traditions, seeing the injustices in his people’s ways but unable to find a solution or aid the victims of such things. He doesn’t allow himself to see the world with his heart, as gracious and gentle as it is, and that is the most tragic part. Ahmet is driven by duty over passion and trapped in his life. 
 And finally, Rashif. He is one determined old fellow and his love for Halajan is so pure and beautiful. His determination to simply love her, unconditionally, without needing to be loved in return is sweet beyond imagining.

I would highly recommend this book to any and all readers, it is absolutely amazing, and I couldn’t be happier to have read this novel (big shout out to the amazing friends who chose it for me). With a setting that will make you long to travel and characters worth admiring, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul is a fantastic read!

Rating: 3.5/5

Get your hands on this book online from Amazon or Book Depository for some fantastic prices.