Sunday, September 04, 2011

Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez

Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez

Debbie Rodriguez is a hair dresser who decides to go to Afghanistan and open up a beauty school to teach Afghan women about hair dressing, makeup, and other similar activities to make them more self-sufficient. As expected, there's a lot of problems for women in Afghanistan and Debbie is right in the middle of it. She learns of her students' problems, some of which are heart wrenching. Debbie only sort of tries to assimilate to the culture. She never really seems to learn the language but ends up marrying an Afghan man. She takes her mission to teach the women of Afghanistan to be self-sufficient through opening up a beauty school and becomes fairly successful.

I enjoyed this novel's story, but I couldn't really understand or connect to Debbie. She left her kids behind after a bad divorce and it seems like she didn't give much thought to them after landing in Afghanistan. She also married an Afghan man without being able to speak the same language as him or understand who he was. She knew he had another wife, but would throw a tantrum when that wife got pregnant. She seemed to throw tantrums quite frequently which became annoying. How she survived in that environment with her attitude is beyond me. If you can ignore this part of the book, the rest of it is quite touching and a good idea of how to help out women in a troubled nation.

First Line: "The women arrive in the salon just before eight in the morning."


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