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Laila's family eventually also decides to leave the city, but a rocket destroys their house as they are preparing to leave, killing her parents and severely injuring Laila.She is subsequently taken in by Rasheed and Mariam.
It continues some of the themes used in his previous work, such as the familial aspects, but focuses primarily on female characters and their roles in Afghan society.
Earning widespread critical acclaim upon publication, A Thousand Splendid Suns was released on May 22, 2007, Columbia Pictures purchased film rights in 2007 and confirmed intentions to create a movie adaption of the book.
Upon discovering that she is pregnant with Tariq's child, Laila agrees to marry Rasheed to protect herself and the baby, giving birth to a daughter, Aziza, whom Rasheed rejects and neglects for being a girl.
Jealous of Laila and Rasheed's interest in her, Mariam initially is very cold, but gradually warms Laila as she attempts to cope with both Rasheed's abuse and the baby.
The two become close friends and confidants, formulating a plan to run away from Rasheed and leave Kabul, but they are soon caught.
Rasheed beats them both, locking them up separately and depriving them of water, almost killing Aziza.
Mariam's father, Jalil, is a businessman who owns a cinema and lives in Herat with his three wives and many children, traveling to visit Mariam, his illegitimate daughter, every Thursday.
On her fifteenth birthday, Mariam wants her father to take her to see Pinocchio at his movie theater, against the pleas of her mother.
As Laila recovers from her injuries, Rasheed expresses interest in her, to Mariam's dismay.
Laila is also informed that Tariq and his family have died on their way out of the city.