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Author: Khaied Hosseini
Publisher and Date of Publication: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc; 2007
Paperback; 370 pages
Nana is a house help who gets impregnated by her boss Jalih Khan. To cover up the resultant scandal and protect his social standing in the Afghan society, he takes Nana and her baby Mariam to the outskirts of
Against hr mother's pleading, Mariam leaves for
After this, she is reluctantly accepted into her father's family, where is married off to Rasheed, a bitter old man, three decades her senior. She is abused and despised by Rasheed as she is not able to give birth to a child of her own. One miscarriage after another embittered him more and more.
It is at this point that Laila, a promising daughter of a middle-class family, who has lost her family in the Afghan crisis, is brought into this already tense famiiy. Rasneed pampers Laila, making her ted as f she were the most important person in the world. But the moment she gives birth to a girl, his attitude changes. Years later when she gives birth to a boy, Rasheed was over the moon, even rawning on the boy.
Though Maram and Laia are both initially antagonistic to each other, Rasheed's highhandedness provides a rallying point for them. They both come to see themselves as victims. So they plot to escape to
When Laila's childhood sweetheart Tanq returns, Rasheed feels threatened and takes it out on Laila. It is during one of his beatings of Laila that Mariam kills hm with a shovel.
Stoically, Mariam gives herself over to the authorities and lets Lala with her two children and Tariq ran away to
After a regime change, Laila and her family returned to
The novel depicts the plight of women in
It is available at TIMOOKTOO Bookshop. Tel: 4494345