In Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil, Deborah Rodriguez offers an account of Afghan life from a unique vantage point as an American beautician serving local and foreign women in Kabul, where she not only ran a salon but also operated a beauty school. Beauty salons are known for free flowing conversation and a flair for the dramatic, and the author makes good use of those talents in the telling of her time in Afghanistan.
While many of her behaviors struck me as boldly American, I certainly found her story fascinating. It is both heartbreaking and heartwarming to hear her stories of women reshaping their role in their families and culture. I learned much as a byproduct of her memoir, which to me was more digestible than dry news reports. Even though most of the events took place a decade ago (and counting...), it still sheds light on a very volatile area of our present world.
On a different note, Bernadette Dunne, the reader of this audiobook, happens to be the reader for Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I'm not sure if it's because she narrated both books, but I noticed many character similarities between the leading ladies. If you enjoyed one of these memoirs, I'd recommend giving the other a try.