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Margarita Wednesdays: Making a New Life by the Mexican Sea

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In answer to the question of what happened following her New York Times bestseller Kabul Beauty School, Deborah Rodriquez is back with a new memoir. Irreverent, insightful, and blatantly honest, Deborah takes us along on her inspiring journey of self-discovery and renewal after she is forced to flee Afghanistan in 2007. She first lands in California, where she feels like a In answer to the question of what happened following her New York Times bestseller Kabul Beauty School, Deborah Rodriquez is back with a new memoir. Irreverent, insightful, and blatantly honest, Deborah takes us along on her inspiring journey of self-discovery and renewal after she is forced to flee Afghanistan in 2007. She first lands in California, where she feels like a misfit teetering on the brink of sanity. Where was that fearless redhead who stared danger in the face back in Kabul? After being advised to commune with glowworms and sit in contemplation for one year, Rodriguez finally packs her life and her cat into her Mini Cooper and moves to a seaside town in Mexico. Despite having no plan, no friends, and no Spanish, a determined Rodriguez soon finds herself swept up in a world where the music never stops and a new life can begin. Her adventures and misadventures among the expats and locals help lead the way to new love, new family, and a new sense of herself. In the magic of Mexico, she finds the hairdresser within, and builds the life she never knew was possible—a life on her own terms.


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In answer to the question of what happened following her New York Times bestseller Kabul Beauty School, Deborah Rodriquez is back with a new memoir. Irreverent, insightful, and blatantly honest, Deborah takes us along on her inspiring journey of self-discovery and renewal after she is forced to flee Afghanistan in 2007. She first lands in California, where she feels like a In answer to the question of what happened following her New York Times bestseller Kabul Beauty School, Deborah Rodriquez is back with a new memoir. Irreverent, insightful, and blatantly honest, Deborah takes us along on her inspiring journey of self-discovery and renewal after she is forced to flee Afghanistan in 2007. She first lands in California, where she feels like a misfit teetering on the brink of sanity. Where was that fearless redhead who stared danger in the face back in Kabul? After being advised to commune with glowworms and sit in contemplation for one year, Rodriguez finally packs her life and her cat into her Mini Cooper and moves to a seaside town in Mexico. Despite having no plan, no friends, and no Spanish, a determined Rodriguez soon finds herself swept up in a world where the music never stops and a new life can begin. Her adventures and misadventures among the expats and locals help lead the way to new love, new family, and a new sense of herself. In the magic of Mexico, she finds the hairdresser within, and builds the life she never knew was possible—a life on her own terms.

30 review for Margarita Wednesdays: Making a New Life by the Mexican Sea

  1. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    I loved the work (the book Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil and the accomplishments on which it is based), but in every page I had the ominous feeling that it would not end well. Now, 7 years later, I know the ending for Deborah Rodriguez and can only imagine what happened to the Afghan women in her school. This weighs heavily on her shoulders and life after it was difficult. You see how life in the US was not working for her, and how the move to Mexico came about. Alon I loved the work (the book Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil and the accomplishments on which it is based), but in every page I had the ominous feeling that it would not end well. Now, 7 years later, I know the ending for Deborah Rodriguez and can only imagine what happened to the Afghan women in her school. This weighs heavily on her shoulders and life after it was difficult. You see how life in the US was not working for her, and how the move to Mexico came about. Along with an entertaining story of ex-pat life in Mexico, Deborah Rodriguez tells a highly personal story. I smiled at her portraits of the people and culture of Mazatlan and cringed as she told a world-wide readership of her mother's attempts to re-make her and of her disastrous marriages. There is a lot in this short, quick read. You see how an ex-pat copes with local culture and easily finds other ex-pats. The cable/internet installer doesn't make appointments, so Rodriquez has to wait each day for him. She copes with plumbing problems and potential violence all around. As she experiences the local culture she describes the mountain homes where poor people live, how babies are born in hospitals, burial customs, Christmas celebrations, superstitions, family life, the choices women are forced to make and more. Because she is an intrepid and perceptive traveler, you get a bonus - a comparison. i.e. Ex-pats in Mexico are not interested in the past. What you did in the States or what brought you there is not a topic of conversation as it was in Afghanistan. Women have more mobility in Mexico than Afghanistan, but domestic abuse remains common and women still live in a patriarchal culture that limits them. The book is more than a cross-cultural narrative. You also share the author's personal journey. Rodriguez tells the dynamics of her childhood in a way that is respectful to her parents and but still shows how this programmed her for future relationships. She gives a sketch of her relationships with her sons. The very personal parts helped me to know her better and fully appreciate her. I love Rodriguez's attitude, spirit and the life she has lived. I highly recommend this book. It is not for Monday morning quarterbacks (i.e. she should not have done this/that... ) or critics (PTSD skeptics or those with fixed ideas on motherhood or college degrees) or those who want a perfect role model. It is for those who appreciate the optimism, energy and passion of a woman who used the resources she had to give others an opportunity and for those who want to know more about of the lives of everyday people in Mazatlan, Mexico.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Mackay

    I read this in a couple of days as it is an easy read. I did find the author somewhat irritating. As other people have commented, she seems to have made no effort to learn Spanish even after months living there. The continual down talking of her own abilities is very annoying when clearly she is very capable of settling herself into another environment. I often wondered about her 2 sons. She seems to have just dumped them with anybody whenever she feels like it for years at a time. I find this w I read this in a couple of days as it is an easy read. I did find the author somewhat irritating. As other people have commented, she seems to have made no effort to learn Spanish even after months living there. The continual down talking of her own abilities is very annoying when clearly she is very capable of settling herself into another environment. I often wondered about her 2 sons. She seems to have just dumped them with anybody whenever she feels like it for years at a time. I find this whole middle-aged trying to find yourself thing really old. And there was no sense of history or of the place or anything except drinking smoking partying and haircutting! It all seems very shallow. If you have nothing better to do give this a read but you really won't learn anything from this book. She seemed set on depicting herself as shallow and boy did she succeed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    What a delightful read! I loved everything about this book so much that I want to move to Mexico and start over. This book makes you feel good about yourself, even when you are at your lowest, and lets you know that you can do anything if you put your mind and spirit to it. The honesty, the emotion, all the feelings you would have if you decided to uproot yourself once again and move to an entirely different country, not speaking the language, but forming a connection with those around you. Frie What a delightful read! I loved everything about this book so much that I want to move to Mexico and start over. This book makes you feel good about yourself, even when you are at your lowest, and lets you know that you can do anything if you put your mind and spirit to it. The honesty, the emotion, all the feelings you would have if you decided to uproot yourself once again and move to an entirely different country, not speaking the language, but forming a connection with those around you. Friendship is universal no matter where you come from or what language you speak. Enjoy this wonderful memoir.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lauredhel

    The House on Carnaval St is a curious mix, folding a powerful narrative of PTSD into a humorous sea-change novel with an oft-irritating narrator. I'm not sure how successful this mix always was, but as a memoir, hey, often our actual lives are similarly jumbled and contradictory. Rodriguez' painting of the Mexican seaside town of Mazatlán was vibrant, and the story of her slow integration into the expat community was engaging. The narrative of her PTSD, resulting from her difficult experiences l The House on Carnaval St is a curious mix, folding a powerful narrative of PTSD into a humorous sea-change novel with an oft-irritating narrator. I'm not sure how successful this mix always was, but as a memoir, hey, often our actual lives are similarly jumbled and contradictory. Rodriguez' painting of the Mexican seaside town of Mazatlán was vibrant, and the story of her slow integration into the expat community was engaging. The narrative of her PTSD, resulting from her difficult experiences living in Afghanistan, was the strongest point of the novel for me. [Some detailed scenes may be difficult to deal with if you experience panic/anxiety/PTSD, so please be aware.] I think what I found most difficult to deal with was the narrator's attitude to her new community, which felt so heavily exoticised to me - "Look at this outlandish place where people eat on the street and the sewage doesn't work! What personal growth I shall have here!" (Perhaps I'm just very wary of encountering a second Eat Pray Love...) And I know she is trying to be self-deprecating, but to live in Mexico for many months without making the tiniest bit of effort to learn a word of Spanish? This was just plain angry-making for me. Ultimately this was a person of extreme relative privilege, who could buy a house outright and live for months on her savings... and she didn't so much as bother to learn the language of the town she'd lobbed in on. Maybe this won't annoy you as much as it did me! And the book definitely has its merits. "My eyes were sealed shut against the flash of light still visible through the lids. Then, silence. I took one deep breath, then another. The familiar aroma of frying peppers filled my nostrils. My stomach growled. A rooster crowed, echoed by his distant cousin miles away. I cautiously opened one eye, then the other. Three crumpled marigolds from the celebration the night before lay wilting on the terra-cotta tiles by the door. This wasn’t Afghanistan, this was Mexico. And I was okay. Hell, I tried to remind myself, I was better than okay."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Hall

    I received this as an early read via NetGalley. I'm a bit torn on my feelings for this one. On one hand the author has accomplished some remarkable things in her life and should be widely applauded for that, as well as for being someone who is so willing to explore the world. On the other hand, she is more than a little bit of a hot mess on a personal level and while I admire her altruistic actions, the rest of her life bored me silly.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Summer

    I enjoyed this book because I'm personally deeply enamored of Deborah Rodriguez. But if you didn't absolutely love Kabul Beauty School, I see no reason why you'd even pick this book up. It was interesting to follow up with Ms. Rodriguez. I was horrified to hear that her time in Afghanistan had come to such an unpleasant end. I would LOVE to read a book by one of the ladies she left behind, if there were any way for such a book to be written. Ms. Rodriguez continues being her wacky self in this b I enjoyed this book because I'm personally deeply enamored of Deborah Rodriguez. But if you didn't absolutely love Kabul Beauty School, I see no reason why you'd even pick this book up. It was interesting to follow up with Ms. Rodriguez. I was horrified to hear that her time in Afghanistan had come to such an unpleasant end. I would LOVE to read a book by one of the ladies she left behind, if there were any way for such a book to be written. Ms. Rodriguez continues being her wacky self in this book. She is a "warts and all" kind of person and several times you will give her side eyes. But over all, she lives a very interesting life and brings prosperity, hope and skills to people who really need them. If the measure of our lives is leaving the world better than we found it, Ms. Rodriguez will be found head and shoulders above the rest of us. And her hair will look great.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I have not read Kabul Beauty School, however it does not matter if you have or not. Margarita Wednesdays can be read as a stand alone novel. The author does a good job of explaining what caused her to leave and run to Mazatlan, Mexico. To be honest, I wished that I had read Kabul Beauty School as it sounded like a interesting book. I may go back and read it. This book was a little dry. In the beginning, I had no problems reading this book. I got a good image of the author and her life. After a w I have not read Kabul Beauty School, however it does not matter if you have or not. Margarita Wednesdays can be read as a stand alone novel. The author does a good job of explaining what caused her to leave and run to Mazatlan, Mexico. To be honest, I wished that I had read Kabul Beauty School as it sounded like a interesting book. I may go back and read it. This book was a little dry. In the beginning, I had no problems reading this book. I got a good image of the author and her life. After a while, though I grew a little tried of reading every details. They kind of repeated themselves with the wording. Not to take anything away from the author. She does seem like a nice person. I just wishes that I felt closer to her through her story.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    This book was rather a drag to get through. While some of the content was a little disturbing, and not to cast aspersions on what the author went through, I would have preferred a more coherent story, rather than jumping forward and backward spilling facts as she goes. I have not read the first book by the same author, which probably detracted a little from the story, but I think I picked up enough to know I would not enjoy it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leslea

    A worthy follow-up to The Little Coffee Shop in Kabul which I loved! Not usually into autobiographical books but after Little Coffee Shop, was interested to know where Deb was heading. Her move to Mexico and all the problems with trying to fit into a strange country with language barriers, weird customs and stinky hot weather kept me glued to the page. This story was told as a story and not a dry monologue of I did this and I did that. I felt like hopping on a plane to join her! Ole!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    This is a wonderful memoir. Deoborah tells her story and you want to hear it! My husband and I spend time in Mazatlan and have been to Tippy Toes, Deborah's shop. It is wonderful putting faces to the people in the book. I adore this book, for many reasons.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mary Blye Kramer

    I really wanted to give this book four stars and the first half deserved it - it was funny and well written and I was with her as she told her story. But the second half was all over the place - the author was disoriented, moves to Mexico and the book becomes a travel journal, lots of spiritual discoveries although it’s hard to tell what her experiences did for her, becoming a grandmother, resisting love and then falling into it, opening a nail salon, resisting the hair salon call then giving in I really wanted to give this book four stars and the first half deserved it - it was funny and well written and I was with her as she told her story. But the second half was all over the place - the author was disoriented, moves to Mexico and the book becomes a travel journal, lots of spiritual discoveries although it’s hard to tell what her experiences did for her, becoming a grandmother, resisting love and then falling into it, opening a nail salon, resisting the hair salon call then giving into it... I love the author’s sense of humor and sense of adventure and feel she should have stuck with that voice. But still, maybe a 3-1/2 star

  12. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

    A worthwhile follow-up to Kabul Beauty School.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This latest book tells of her highs and lows in Mexico. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to my friends.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Maybe if I had read the author's first book I would have been more charmed by this one. Certainly the author was genuine and had done some off the beaten path type of things with her life. But I just couldn't find a connection or really appreciate the story she had to tell. Having lived in Afghanistan and then leave abruptly when her son is threatened with kidnapping, Rodriguez finds herself back in the states struggling to make sense of what happened. She stays for awhile with a friend turned a Maybe if I had read the author's first book I would have been more charmed by this one. Certainly the author was genuine and had done some off the beaten path type of things with her life. But I just couldn't find a connection or really appreciate the story she had to tell. Having lived in Afghanistan and then leave abruptly when her son is threatened with kidnapping, Rodriguez finds herself back in the states struggling to make sense of what happened. She stays for awhile with a friend turned a little more until he decides he's had enough of the relationship. And then it's off to Mazatlan Mexico where she buys a little house and settles down to try to pull the pieces of her life together. Here she makes new friends but still feels as if something is missing, and with personal problems, family problems, and other problems, peace sometimes seems unobtainable. Rodriguez can be pretty blunt about herself at times. Especially when it comes to her choices in men. She is very frank about all her mistakes there. And her two sons, while seemingly important to her, actually feature very little in her life. Yes, one comes and lives with her, but that's when she starts describing him in detail and showing a sense of caring. She has a lot of drama. And it gets tiring. You want to just shake her and say why do you keep doing this to your life? The other characters she describes nicely though and she usually has something nice to say about almost all of them. This book is drama. It's disguised by the fact that it's about moving to Mexico and becoming part of the community there. But really it's about Rodriguez's personal struggles and how she tries to overcome them. Mexican culture is a second, although through her interactions with her son's married family help bring the culture to the reader. She also mentions her first book a lot and that gets a little tiring. After about the fifth mention, it's like, "ok, you have a book about the beauty school you started in Afghanistan. That's fantastic, and wonderful for those women, but you've told me this before." It's obvious she's very proud of it, but redundant after awhile. This is an ok memoir. A little too much drama for me and not enough description of everything else. I'm sure those who read the first book though will find it much more absorbing. **This book was won in a Goodreads Giveaway** Margarita Wednesdays Copyright 2014 276 pages Review by M. Reynard 2014 More of my reviews can be found at www.ifithaswords.blogspot.com

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shana

    I received a copy of this book through a GoodReads giveaway. Most people who pick this up will most likely have read Kabul Beauty School and enjoyed it enough to read the follow up. I come at this with a different perspective since I never read her previous book and know nothing about her. Rodriguez starts with her abrupt departure from Afghanistan and subsequent malaise. There are some hops back and forth in time as she reveals important facts and moments in her life so far. Mostly, though, this I received a copy of this book through a GoodReads giveaway. Most people who pick this up will most likely have read Kabul Beauty School and enjoyed it enough to read the follow up. I come at this with a different perspective since I never read her previous book and know nothing about her. Rodriguez starts with her abrupt departure from Afghanistan and subsequent malaise. There are some hops back and forth in time as she reveals important facts and moments in her life so far. Mostly, though, this focuses on how she set herself up in Mexico. Although Rodriguez seems to be a very friendly, likeable woman, I could not help myself from judging some of her choices in life. There's a fine line between being spontaneous in a fun, adventurous way and being impulsive in a potentially dangerous way, and at times she leans towards the latter. She's clearly a thrill seeker, but she presents herself as someone who is completely innocuous and at times downplays her intensity in favor of a much less threatening image. It felt strange to have all these adventures alluded to and then hear her basically say, "But I'm just a small town hairdresser!" Rather than just being an account of her life so far, this was also about Rodriguez's emotional journey as she dealt with panic attacks and anxiety and learned some coping mechanisms for her PTSD. At times I was frustrated by how oblivious she seemed when it came to the effects of her past traumas, but she does address them (or at least tries) off and on, and I think that's reflective of many peoples' journeys.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mel Mayberry

    In her follow-up memoir to best-seller Kabul Beauty School, Ms. Rodriguez takes the reader on the roller-coaster ride that becomes her life following her flee from Afghanistan. Safe but insecure in California, she yearns for something to fill the void in her life and spirit she left behind in the desert. A variety of personalities are put directly in her path, each one imparting their own brand of wisdom. While in port during a cruise, she impulsively purchases a tiny house in Mazatlan, Mexico. L In her follow-up memoir to best-seller Kabul Beauty School, Ms. Rodriguez takes the reader on the roller-coaster ride that becomes her life following her flee from Afghanistan. Safe but insecure in California, she yearns for something to fill the void in her life and spirit she left behind in the desert. A variety of personalities are put directly in her path, each one imparting their own brand of wisdom. While in port during a cruise, she impulsively purchases a tiny house in Mazatlan, Mexico. Listening to her independent inner voice, she packs up her clothes and her cat into her Mini Cooper and drives off into a new life where she does not even speak the language. Ms. Rodriguez learns to “not just survive, but thrive.” Her journey from losing her spark, to rejuvenating it again, should be an inspiration for the reader. Unfortunately, the anecdotes go unfinished, the self pity about leaving Afghanistan and the lack of pulling extremely random threads together into an interesting story just turns reading this book into a tedious chore.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pranietha

    It is unfortunate that a promising book turns out to be a tacky read within just the first 10 pages. An encouraging title, a quirky front cover, and an enticing summary that hinted at a charming travelogue cum memoir-esque tale led me to pick up this book. From the perspective of a South Asian reader, Deb's character comes across as offensive in her interactions with different cultures. In the few chapters that I endured she reflects a tendency to cast herself as a savior for people from non-dev It is unfortunate that a promising book turns out to be a tacky read within just the first 10 pages. An encouraging title, a quirky front cover, and an enticing summary that hinted at a charming travelogue cum memoir-esque tale led me to pick up this book. From the perspective of a South Asian reader, Deb's character comes across as offensive in her interactions with different cultures. In the few chapters that I endured she reflects a tendency to cast herself as a savior for people from non-developed economies viz. Mexico and Afghanistan. Her surprise at an English-speaking waiter in Mexico speaks volumes of her awareness despite of her claims as a traveler. She believes that her tendency to attract men who want to marry her is a remarkable asset. She continues to equate men to mean opportunity. If she claims to be as independent like she really is, why the need for an opportunity in the form of a man is something I never understood. Like, seriously? The author seems to be living in a bubble in a time gone by. I read 100 pages and could not take any more.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Barrett

    I read Deborah Rodriguez’s memoir Kabul Beauty School and loved it, of course I may be slightly biased because I’ve been a cosmetologist for 40 years and was a wild woman during my 20’s, so I feel a kinship with the author. Wild woman would be putting it mildly when it comes to Deborah, who moved to Afghanistan after 911 to help a ministry and ended up doing hair and sharing her profession with the woman there. Her new memoir is even a nuttier move because, after barely escaping Afghanistan, she I read Deborah Rodriguez’s memoir Kabul Beauty School and loved it, of course I may be slightly biased because I’ve been a cosmetologist for 40 years and was a wild woman during my 20’s, so I feel a kinship with the author. Wild woman would be putting it mildly when it comes to Deborah, who moved to Afghanistan after 911 to help a ministry and ended up doing hair and sharing her profession with the woman there. Her new memoir is even a nuttier move because, after barely escaping Afghanistan, she chooses to live in Mazatlan, Mexico a drug war hot spot, rather than guru-out in the hills of Napa, California. Okay, it does make sense when she puts the pieces of her story together, but still I found myself praying that everything would work out for her. She’s brave, and vulnerable, and funny so I hope you’ll take a journey with her because it will entertain you and touch your heart. 5 stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    An interesting memoir about a woman who moves to Mexico (sort of on a whim...she is one of those people who says "yes" to adventures) and her journey to settle into life there. The author also wrote the book "Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil" which she frequently mentions. That story sounds fascinating...I might have to pick it up! I think the trauma she suffered post her experience in Afghanistan (obviously) colors her experience in Mexico. As such there were times wh An interesting memoir about a woman who moves to Mexico (sort of on a whim...she is one of those people who says "yes" to adventures) and her journey to settle into life there. The author also wrote the book "Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil" which she frequently mentions. That story sounds fascinating...I might have to pick it up! I think the trauma she suffered post her experience in Afghanistan (obviously) colors her experience in Mexico. As such there were times when I found the author a bit tiresome and "in her own mind" too much. Then, I had to remind myself of her entire journey. Nevertheless, some cool info about Mexican culture (particularly the festivals and colorful streets). Read if: You like memoirs You enjoy learning about other countries and cultures

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    This was a really fun memoir, which takes place in Mazatlan, Mexico where The author has decided to reside after having had to leave Afghanistan, where the first part of her memoir took place (Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil) In this part of her story she is trying to find out who she is now and how to get over fears from her past, which she didn't really know she had. There are a lot of wonderful people that help her adjust along the way and we have a great view of wh This was a really fun memoir, which takes place in Mazatlan, Mexico where The author has decided to reside after having had to leave Afghanistan, where the first part of her memoir took place (Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil) In this part of her story she is trying to find out who she is now and how to get over fears from her past, which she didn't really know she had. There are a lot of wonderful people that help her adjust along the way and we have a great view of what her life in Mexico is like. She is very open and honest about her life, and how she comes to love this new adopted country.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    An inspiring true story of the authors dramatic escape from war torn Kabul back to the USA where the effects of her narrow escape turned into PTSD. We journey with Deborah as she seeks her way out of her PTSD state and finds her self living on Carmival Street in Mexico. The rest of the story races along from there, and as someone with very little knowledge of Mexico, myself, it is an education. Highly enjoyable but I definitely have no desire to visit Mexico. It sounds exhausting and confronting An inspiring true story of the authors dramatic escape from war torn Kabul back to the USA where the effects of her narrow escape turned into PTSD. We journey with Deborah as she seeks her way out of her PTSD state and finds her self living on Carmival Street in Mexico. The rest of the story races along from there, and as someone with very little knowledge of Mexico, myself, it is an education. Highly enjoyable but I definitely have no desire to visit Mexico. It sounds exhausting and confronting.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Penguin Books NZ

    (Marthie) I thoroughly recommend this. Deborah Rodriguez lurches merrily from one disaster to another, she marries every man she encounters, it all ends up in tears, she drinks, she parties, she goes to Mexico, she sometimes refers to herself as ‘the redhead’ – and she is extremely entertaining. You will keep reading. Everybody who loved The Little Coffee Shop will love this one too.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I should state up front that I do not consider Deborah Rodriguez a reliable narrator. When the various and sundry ways you have screwed over the women you left behind at the Kabul Beauty School are the subject of their own WikiLeaks document, and you persist in casting yourself as the main victim in the scenario, I am going to take anything you say with a very large grain of salt. Not having a TV, I guess books like this are my stand-in for trashy reality shows.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Leisa

    Reading this book felt like time spent catching up with a friend you haven't seen in a while. I just like Debbie and was glad to find out what had happened to her in the years since her time in Afghanistan.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Dardarian

    I enjoyed this book a lot. It's a follow-up to her Kabul Beauty School and mostly takes place in Mazatlan and Patzcuaro Mexico. Fun read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Claire Belberg

    After a desperate escape from Afghanistan, Deborah Rodgriguez struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is the story of her slow journey of recovery and the beginning of a new life in Mexico. It's interesting to read about someone so different from yourself. I wouldn't begin again in a new country without thorough research - that's not Debbie's way, and that's what makes her story a wild ride of exciting and unusual experiences. She has a knack for making good friends in unusual places. After a desperate escape from Afghanistan, Deborah Rodgriguez struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is the story of her slow journey of recovery and the beginning of a new life in Mexico. It's interesting to read about someone so different from yourself. I wouldn't begin again in a new country without thorough research - that's not Debbie's way, and that's what makes her story a wild ride of exciting and unusual experiences. She has a knack for making good friends in unusual places. She writes well. While she is interested and open to the culture she has landed in, and caring towards the locals, I get the feeling she and the other expats are bulls in the cultural china shop - well meaning but culturally insensitive, like so many of us English speaking Europeans. The story ends happily and I hope that's still true for her and her family.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Annette Swinnerton Smith

    Good but not great, hence the 3 ☆ rating. This is Deborah Rodriguez third novel she has written on her experiences living, working and trying to make a difference in another culture. This book describes her turmoil in having to return and live back in America, and then her experience in moving again and settling in Mexico. As this period of her life seems less dangerous, dramatic and with less challenges to her survival than her previous experiences (which she deserves!), it makes this experienc Good but not great, hence the 3 ☆ rating. This is Deborah Rodriguez third novel she has written on her experiences living, working and trying to make a difference in another culture. This book describes her turmoil in having to return and live back in America, and then her experience in moving again and settling in Mexico. As this period of her life seems less dangerous, dramatic and with less challenges to her survival than her previous experiences (which she deserves!), it makes this experience less thrilling of a story than the first two. Again I enjoyed the cross cultural narative and her inspirational drive to improve the lot of the local women, but it felt like it needed a really good edit. I've already purchased The Zanzibar Wife, and Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul to see what she gets up to next.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    This is one of those books I found in the hotel reading shel, which another reader kindly left behind. I really enjoyed it. In addition to showing one woman's struggle to restart her life after a traumatic end to her time in Afghanistan, as she progresses slowly she is struck by post traumatic stress disorder, which initially starts off as panic attacks etc. I personally found out lots of things I wasn't aware of about PTSD! She also has a son who she has had to briefly abandon and cut off in or This is one of those books I found in the hotel reading shel, which another reader kindly left behind. I really enjoyed it. In addition to showing one woman's struggle to restart her life after a traumatic end to her time in Afghanistan, as she progresses slowly she is struck by post traumatic stress disorder, which initially starts off as panic attacks etc. I personally found out lots of things I wasn't aware of about PTSD! She also has a son who she has had to briefly abandon and cut off in order to focus on her new life, due to his addiction problems. I think I enjoyed it most because of how she shares her raw experiences and begins this new chapter in her life, which is by no means straight forward. Just like our own lives. Will definitely look for her other books !

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    After having to flee for her life from Afghanistan, leaving everything behind, Deborah returned to the States and found herself wondering why the smallest thing would trigger a meltdown. It was a chance meeting with someone in Oregon that first identified it as PTSD. After that, she decided to move to Mexico to a house that she had bought as a get-away. There she was able to make friends, heal and find a new life. I commend her for being so transparent with the PTSD and the struggles and the hea After having to flee for her life from Afghanistan, leaving everything behind, Deborah returned to the States and found herself wondering why the smallest thing would trigger a meltdown. It was a chance meeting with someone in Oregon that first identified it as PTSD. After that, she decided to move to Mexico to a house that she had bought as a get-away. There she was able to make friends, heal and find a new life. I commend her for being so transparent with the PTSD and the struggles and the healing process. I had thoroughly enjoyed both of the Afghanistan books and this was a chance to find out what happened next. Some of the rough language wasn't really necessary in my opinion, but since we tend to write in our own "voice", it is probably a feature of her loud personality.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This was a good continuation of Kabul Beauty School and to get to hear what has happened to Deborah since being forced to flee Kabul. Just like Kabul Beauty School opened my eyes to the way women are viewed and treated in Afghanistan, Margarita Wednesdays opened my eyes to how women are viewed and treated in Mexico. Also like the prequel, it inspired me to always be aware of my surroundings, my gifts and my experiences so that I know how I can make a difference and be a blessing.

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