Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Kabul Beauty School Book Review

There are very few books that you read that actually change your view of the world. Not the things in the world, not love or the aspects we come to face in our world, but your view of the actual world itself around you. I don't really know what I'd expected from The Kabul Beauty School, but I didn't expect to come away from Deborah Rodriguez's novel inspired, moved and wanting to contribute something to the women in the world around me. The book isn't a novel - it's a memoir of Deborah's time spent changing the lives of young women in Kabul, and it's astounding in so many different ways.

The book follows Deborah as she recalls her travels to Afghanistan in order to be a part of the aid effort after Taliban rule - it shows how the women there were inspired by the idea of beauty and hairdressing salons (many of which had been closed under Taliban rule), so much so that Deborah set out to create a training school for the women there - not only allowing for a continuation of her skills after she had travelled home, but also allowing skills and job to be funded for young women in the communities over there that still considered them very much second class citizens.

The blurb of the book makes it sound like a chick-flick, but don't let it fool you as it's anything but. It shows the world these women are a part of, and as Deborah shares their stories with us, we come to know and respect them in the same way that Deborah did. We follow her highs and lows in Kabul and, more than anything, I came away from the book wondering what sort of impact I could make in the world; Deborah's skills proved invaluable for the women in Kabul, and it left me wondering what skills I have that could be indispensable to women the world over if I took the time to help.

The book is captivating, heart-wrenching and beautiful in equal amounts - as much as you feel joy with regards to Rodriguez's journey, you fear for the women that she met over in Afghanistan and, more than anything, it really brought to the forefront of my mind the treatment of women in other countries; it's all too easy to imagine that as women's rights have improved within Western countries this has occurred across the world, and it was uncomfortable - and necessary - to recognise my naivety.

Rodriguez has written a number of other books about her travels and I can't wait to get my hands on them, these are so much more than travel diaries; these books talk about Deborah's change in the world, her influence and inspiration towards women; and they're beautiful to read. I've already promised this one to two other people once I've finished with it, and I'd honestly recommend it to anybody. It's like nothing that I've ever read before.

Sammy xo.

If you liked this, you might like; Fangirl Book Review

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