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The Kabul Beauty School: The Art of Friendship and Freedom [Paperback]

Deborah Rodriguez
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 Jan 2008
Kabul Beauty School is a remarkable tale of an extraordinary community of women, all of whom have stories to tell, who come together and learn the arts of perms, friendship, and freedom. Arriving in Afghanistan in 2002 with nothing more than a beauty degree and a desire to help, Deborah Rodriguez set out on a course of action that would change her life and those of many Afghan women. The once proud tradition of beauty schools had been all but destroyed and with it Afghani women's ability to support themselves. As one of the founders of the Kabul Beauty School she set about training women and helping them rebuild their lives.


Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (24 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034093588X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340935880
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 378,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A remarkable story (The Sunday Times)

A quirky and supremely uplifting read (Glamour)

Terrifically readable, and rich in personal stories. (Kirkus Reviews)

A terrific opening chapter--colorful, suspenseful, funny--ushers readers into the curious closed world of Afghan women....This witty and insightful (if light) memoir will be perfect for women's reading groups and daytime talk shows. (Publishers' Weekly starred review)

Rodriguez has written a very gutsy, real-life adventure story for women... Her courage in tackling gigantic cultural barriers is also remarkable. (Publishing News)

This lively memoir is full of darkly funny moments...and the humor leavens the horror stories about life in this war-torn land. A dishy but substantial read. (People)

'A fascinating account of the friendships she has made and her love affair with the country, its culture and its people. A thought-provoking read of one woman determined to make a difference.' (My Weekly)

Book Description

In the tradition of Reading Lolita in Tehran, a look at the lives of women in Afghanistan through the lens of The Kabul Beauty School


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 19 Feb 2008
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Deborah Rodriguez is a beautician from Michigan who went over to Afghanistan after September 11th to help in any way she could. She quickly fell in love with the country and wanted to reestablish the Afghan beauticians who went out of existence when the Taliban took over. Along with help from others, she opened a beauty school where she trained Afghan women to become beauticians who could then open up their own beauty salons.

This amazing true story is heartwarming yet incredibly sad at the same time. The reader learns the personal and tragic story of the many Afghan women that Rodriguez befriends. We learn of their arranged marriages to men twice their age, abusive husbands who will divorce them if the women can't bear a son, and monetary struggles and desperate attempts to find that money. It is also wonderful to read about these same women becoming independent and happy due to their education from the beauty school and their friendship with Ms. Rodriguez.

This book is truly inspiring and educational. The reader learns about many customs and misconceptions about Afghanistan and its people through the real life experiences of Rodriguez. Her desire to help the kind Afghan people can inspire anyone to do the same.

KABUL BEAUTY SCHOOL is sure to please all readers who are open to learning about a foreign people, their customs, and an American woman who felt the need to dedicate her life to those less fortunate.

Reviewed by: Steph
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 25 April 2014
By Megan ReadingInTheSunshine TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I originally discovered Deborah Rodriguez when I read her novel The Little Coffee Shop Of Kabul, and I immediately fell in love with her words and way of writing, so knowing how much I’d enjoyed that book, I was looking forward to reading The Kabul Beauty School.

Deborah really brings to life the realities of Kabul, how everyday life can be for women in Kabul and the daily struggles that these particular women in the book face. Every woman in the book had their own individual story, their own individual issues and struggles, and I was honestly touched by every one of them. It felt very personal and I spent my time willing these women on and wanting to reach out to them.

The Kabul Beauty School is a big insight into the lives of these women and what they face. It is heartbreaking and honest, with moments of bravery, courage and positivity woven in. A gripping book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 26 Oct 2013
By Olivia
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It had just the right amount of background info, cultural insight and interesting anecdotes. I cared about the people in it and about the fate of the school and also found the author a very inspiring woman as well as an excellent writer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still reading at the moment. 29 Jan 2014
By TERRYJ
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I previously read the little coffee shop in Kabul which was excellent and I think it would make a good film one day.
I am enjoying this book very much and it is a real eye opener to everyday life in Kabul and the struggles of the people there which we all tend to overlook.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 28 Jan 2012
By Joby
Format:Paperback
Excellent book - loved it! An inspirational lady changing the lives of Afghan women and teaching them skills that they can use in the future. Bought it for my hairdresser! Feel very lucky to have so much freedom.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Book of Cultural Differences. 26 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It tells a story of a brave women who goes to Afghanistan to help out the women of the country. She trains them to be hairdressers and beauticians. The story focuses on the lives of the women the author interacts with. The tales of these women's lives of hardship, male dominance and sadness is heartwrenching.
I was hooked on this book because of all the cultural differences and how the author overcomes problems, helps the women and adapts to such a different life to that of what she is used to as a Westernized lady.
There are some sad parts, crazy parts and just downright strange parts. All of which make the book captivating. I loved it and would definitely recommend it. A read that is interesting, relatively easy to read and entertaining.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Snatching a glimpse 12 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A little gem that speaks openly of the secret hardships Afghanis face, and yet the love this writer shares through her stories sweetens the bitter taste of the constant struggles people face to maintain an even footing in a place where rubble have a fondness of appearing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 23 Jun 2009
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Deborah Rodriguez is a beautician from Michigan who went over to Afghanistan after September 11th to help in any way she could. She quickly fell in love with the country and wanted to reestablish the Afghan beauticians who went out of existence when the Taliban took over. Along with help from others, she opened a beauty school where she trained Afghan women to become beauticians who could then open up their own beauty salons.

This amazing true story is heartwarming yet incredibly sad at the same time. The reader learns the personal and tragic story of the many Afghan women that Rodriguez befriends. We learn of their arranged marriages to men twice their age, abusive husbands who will divorce them if the women can't bear a son, and monetary struggles and desperate attempts to find that money. It is also wonderful to read about these same women becoming independent and happy due to their education from the beauty school and their friendship with Ms. Rodriguez.

This book is truly inspiring and educational. The reader learns about many customs and misconceptions about Afghanistan and its people through the real life experiences of Rodriguez. Her desire to help the kind Afghan people can inspire anyone to do the same.

KABUL BEAUTY SCHOOL is sure to please all readers who are open to learning about a foreign people, their customs, and an American woman who felt the need to dedicate her life to those less fortunate.

Reviewed by: Steph
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