Friday, July 11, 2008

Kabul Beaty School

This non-fiction book by Deborah Rodriguez was supposed to be fantastic--it was just mediocre for me.

Deborah, unhappy here in the states, decides that she wants to volunteer her time and skills to help the women of Afghanistan after the Taliban have been driven out. Deborah is a hair dresser, so she decides to try to set up a beauty school there, so women can earn their own money and support themselves. The book tells tales of the women who are educated there and how their lives are bettered by Deborah's efforts.

The book is decently written, but by no means captivating or elegant. The story is heartwarming, but Deborah downplays those parts of the book, instead focusing on how her life was changing. She got married to an Afghani, had problems with her kids, had problems with her ex-husband, had problems at the beauty school, etc etc. If she had focused on the women of Afghanistan and their stories more, instead of letting the reader know just how selfless she was even though her life was soooooo hard, then the book would have been much better.

I have no doubt that Rodriguez made a difference for the women of that country--I just wish she had told their story better.

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