Nana used to work for Jalil, Mariam's father, until it was found out that she was pregnant with his child. His first wife and son both passed away, which led Rasheed to desperately want another son. Laila tells Tariq about Aziza and her marriage to Rasheed, and Tariq does not blame her for marrying. His wives sympathize with her in her hard situation. Even the years before the Taliban arrived in Kabul, Rasheed was physically, mentally, emotionally, and verbally abusive to Mariam.
Laila enjoys a relatively stable home life works hard at school and spend most of her afternoon daydreaming about her long life friend called Tariq. Even though things in Afghanistan are getting better, war fills the country, and women and children have to learn to endure abuse, caused by men and the Taliban; they also learn to endure poverty. Mariam sacrifices her life by giving Laila, Aziza, and Tariq a chance to escape by surrendering herself to the officials. Upon returning home, Mariam finds that her mother has committed suicide out of fear that her daughter had deserted her. Archived from on July 4, 2013. Talk about a busy man, right? In Kabul, Mariam is astounded by the cosmopolitan atmosphere, though Rasheed makes her wear a burqa and mainly stay within the home. In Kabul, Mariam becomes pregnant seven successive times, but is never able to carry a child to term, and Rasheed gradually becomes more abusive.
She is the child of Jalil and Nana born out of wedlock. Uh oh: this doesn't sound good. Laila awakens in Rasheed's and Mariam's house. On return to her house the worst had happened since her mother had committed suicide, she cried bitterly and blamed herself for living her remembering what she had told her that if she goes Nana would die. One day, after visiting Aziza, Laila returns home to find a very surprising guest: it's Tariq. Across Kabul and in a galaxy far, far away… a girl named Laila is born on the same night that the Soviets take control of Afghanistan. Mariam initially comforts Laila by convincing her they will run away together and lead a quiet peaceful life in a small village somewhere.
Mariam gets pregnant but suffers a miscarriage. Just before Laila reaches adolescence, her parents' receive news that both of their sons have been killed. Eventually, she becomes a teacher at the orphanage. Women like Nana, Mariam, Laila are forced into things they never wanted Mariam is forced into marriage, nana is thrown away by his boss because of being pregnant which led to her being disowned by her own father, the women decision is not considered. Mariam has never worn one before. Mariam grows up a sweet and humble child, despite her mother's bitterness and constant nagging that she is nothing but an illegitimate, unwanted, useless girl.
While they pack, a bomb hits Laila's home, and she is the sole survivor of the blast, knocked unconscious. Together they work in a hotel and discuss where they want to go next. By now, Tariq and Laila are teenagers and in love. Tariq and Laila kiss, and eventually fall in love, but are torn apart when Tariq's parents decide to move to Pakistan to escape the violence. Laila and Tariq are teased for their friendship. She is close to her father, a kind-hearted teacher, but worries over her mother, who is depressed and unresponsive following her two sons' death in the army.
However, as Mariam becomes pregnant and miscarries multiple times, their relationship sours, and he becomes increasingly moody and abusive over her inability to bear him a son. They never see Mariam again. Mariam is now in charge, not Laila, and that fact brings Laila comfort. However, Laila has far more happy childhood moments than Mariam, from her walks home from school with her friends Giti and Hasina, to her lessons with Babi and, above all, her friendship with the mischievous Tariq, who lost one leg in a land mine accident when he was five. However, though Nana constantly told Mariam she blamed her for her terrible life, and showed her unappreciation for Mariam regularly, Mariam continued to be devoted to both her parents.
After her friendship with Mariam develops, she invites Mariam to run away with them. After Rasheed's death, Laila is determined to leave Kabul. The second character in the novel the writer talks of a girl who lives across Kabul she is called Laila, who had a childhood male friend called Tariq who had lost a leg when he was still young, when the war worsened Tariq and his family went away to Pakistan leaving Laila behind, on their last meeting they decided to contemplate their friendship. With a shovel, Mariam kills Rasheed. The beatings could not stop Laila because she persevered and was determined to see her child even if it meant enduring countless, brutal beatings. She hangs herself when Mariam is fifteen after Mariam journeys to Jalil's house on her birthday.
The writer in the novel shows the theme of oppression where women in the society pass through domestic violence because of being uneducated. Mariam is an illegitimate child, and suffers from both the stigma surrounding her birth along with the abuse she faces throughout her marriage. They had to sell everything they had in order to make ends meet. At the trial, she tells the judge what happens, but the judge knows that the crime is not his to forgive—she must die and ask forgiveness herself from Allah. Rasheed is very stern with his family, and later becomes abusive. After that the lives of the two women take very different paths. Jalil, her father, is a wealthy man who lives in town with three wives and nine children.