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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 February 2008
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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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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on 26 October 2013
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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on 29 January 2014
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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on 27 January 2016
I enjoyed reading this story about the opening of a beauty salon and school in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan - quite different to most 21st century accounts of war and post-war in Afghanistan. The author certainly comes across as somebody who doesn't take any prisoners in pursuit of what she believes is right - facing down some of Afghanistan's more questionable people in her attempts to help the women of Afghanistan. I couldn't help feeling that certain elements might have been exaggerated or altered - partly to protect identities, but also to help the dramatic flow - bearing in mind that her second book is a fictionalised version of her life as a coffee shop owner. Even so, it's an interesting read.
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on 12 December 2013
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 has a fondness of appearing.
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on 26 June 2014
This book tells of the trials and tribulations of an American mother, Debbie, going to Afghanistan to set up a beauty School. her aim is to enable more Afghan women to work with and for other women . At first the Afghan men are against their wives and daughters working for money., but times are hard in their country, and the men soon realise that their wives are bringing home much needed money.t The idea takes off and is a roaring success, but it is not an easy journey. Debbie finds that she does not want to be at the mercy of the owner of the building she has rented for her beauty School. The owner is not a nice person to have around.
Debbie marries an Afghan man while she is in Kabul but she has had to leave behind her two teenage sons from a previous marriage. Therefore she has frequent visits home to her mother who is living with the sons. Afghanistan's government changes from time to time and the rules of running businesses change accordingly. Debbie has to return home, not knowing how the beauty School will fare, and not knowing if her marriage to Sam can survive. Although written as a story, this book gives insight into a country in turmoil. A brilliant book!
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on 17 February 2016
Really lovely. I've gotten obsessed lately with Afghan culture having read all the amazing Khaled Hosseini books. I don't like including spoilers so I'm just going to say this book is a really lovely read. It's filled with culture and the writing style makes the story flow well. It's at a good pace until the very end where things so quickly and randomly jump to an end.
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on 5 January 2015
I was really enjoying this book until i googled Deborah Rodriguez. I quickly discovered that she upset people mentioned in the book for incorrect information and put her son in danger by marrying an Afghan warlord. This book is written to make her look like this amazing person who strived to change the lives of desperate women when actually it's a self obsessed autobiography. She put her life in danger and seemed to have little respect for Afghan culture. She seemed to enjoy the attention she got whenever she went out, something she must miss since having to flee the country.
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on 28 January 2012
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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