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Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes behind the Veil | [Deborah Rodriguez, Kristin Ohlson]

Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes behind the Veil

Most Westerners working in Afghanistan spend their time tucked inside a military compound or embassy. Not Deborah Rodriguez. Here, she tells the story of the beauty school she founded in the middle of Kabul and of the vibrant women who were her students. When Rodriguez opened the Kabul Beauty School, she not only empowered her students with a new sense of autonomy but also made some of the closest friends of her life.
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Publisher's Summary

Most Westerners working in Afghanistan spend their time tucked inside a military compound or embassy. Not Deborah Rodriguez. Here, she tells the story of the beauty school she founded in the middle of Kabul and of the vibrant women who were her students.

When Rodriguez opened the Kabul Beauty School, she not only empowered her students with a new sense of autonomy but also made some of the closest friends of her life. Woven through the book are the stories of her students: the newlywed who must fake her virginity; the 12-year-old sold into marriage to pay her family's debts; and a woman who pursues her training despite her Taliban husband's constant beatings. They all bring their stories to the beauty school, where, along with Rodriguez herself, they learn the art of perms, friendship, and freedom.

©2007 Deborah Rodriguez-Turner; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A terrific opening chapter - colorful, suspenseful, funny - ushers readers into the curious closed world of Afghan women." (Publishers Weekly)
"A lively narrative of the author's experiences reacquainting Afghan women with skills the mullahs had denied them....Terrifically readable, and rich in personal stories." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (389 )
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4.3 (120 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Carolyn NY, NY USA 07-09-12
    Carolyn NY, NY USA 07-09-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    "Compelling women you care about"
    What did you love best about Kabul Beauty School?

    I thought this book was cleverly organized into stories about different women that the author met in conjunction with the beauty school. And the author herself is quite a character. I found myself compulsively listening to the book.


    What other book might you compare Kabul Beauty School to and why?

    In a way, it almost reminded me of "The Help," but this is non-fiction. It's all about women struggling through very difficult times and it tells many different stories.


    What does Bernadette Dunne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She has a nice rich voice.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I wish more people would read this book as the US plans to leave Afghanistan and continues to negotiate with the Taliban.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John W. Simpson Alexandria, VA United States 05-28-12
    John W. Simpson Alexandria, VA United States 05-28-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Brave Woman!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book was recommend to me by another Audible listener and I've continued the trend. What captured me was the woman's bravery in relocating to this country right after the 911 attacks on the US.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character was so colorful and made wrong decisions like the rest of us. She didn't always think through her future plans, but that was why it was fun to peek into her life. I wanted to see how she handled her new marriage and culture and all the women she helped develop into wage earners in a culture where women do not work.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but who has that kind of time. Rather, I made a date with the story everyday, which made my dog happy, as I tended to walk longer.


    Any additional comments?

    This review was by John's wife.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Strauss 04-14-11
    R. Strauss 04-14-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Welcome to Kabul"

    Wow, this was an inspiring story! Not riveting, but an enjoyable and uplifting read. Bernadette, the narrator has a nice voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 05-27-09
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 05-27-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Entertaining and informative"

    If you enjoy listening in your car, this is a good choice. This true story is easy to follow and very interesting. I loved learning about Debbie's crazy life experiences!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Glen Mills, PA, USA 04-26-09
    Carolyn Glen Mills, PA, USA 04-26-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Fantastic account of an adventurous woman"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this listen. The narrator was splendid and the author seemed to be a truly remarkable woman. Crazy Debbie may have quite a few flaws, but she is a brave, determined woman who is inspirational in taking on challenges few others would and not quitting, even in the face of extreme adversity. Yet, with her strength comes a vulnerability and insecurity, most obviously demonstrated through her marriages. While listening, I thought perhaps she fought so hard for the Afghani women because she related to them on more than one level. I really liked Debbie and wish I could meet her someday. She is truly an inspiration. Other books about strong women overcoming adversity you might enjoy: The House at Sugar Beach and The Help (Fiction).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cjfquilts Denver, CO USA 09-23-08
    cjfquilts Denver, CO USA 09-23-08 Member Since 2008
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    "Very good book club book"

    This was very good and an interesting view of the society in Afganistan. The narration by the author is good. Debbie Rodriguez is surrounded by much controversy for what she there. So it is interesting to hear "her" side of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin B Lappala Glenwood, IA United States 08-13-08
    Kristin B Lappala Glenwood, IA United States 08-13-08 Member Since 2007
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    15
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    "Interesting Story"

    This book was fun and interesting without being too much of a tear jerker. If she is accurate in her story, it really opens your eyes to how women are treated in Afganistan and how few options these women have.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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