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Mariam and Rasheed get married, for a couple of years they are lonesome, Mariam finds out she can't have babies and Mariam is abused daily, something she grows a custom to.
Laila is taken in after her parents pass, she decides to marry Rasheed because she has no other place to stay and plus she is pregnant with Tariq's child so she pretends it's Rasheeds.
Laila realizes the life she is in is absolutely horrible and mentally draining as she is constantly abused just like Mariam. She is lonely and depressed.
Mariam and Laila become friends after both realizing that they are both in the same situation, they both need help, they need to get away from Rasheed who is constantly braking them down emotionally and physically.
Laila and Mariam both wear the same thing, burqas, an important symbol in the novel because it protects them from showing the work their secrets since no one can see them. Rasheed continues with his violent acts.
Mariam and Laila try running away and fail. Rasheed almost nearly kills Laila to death but Mariam throws a shovel at him that ends up killing him. Mariam turns herself into the authorities and Laila goes back with Tariq.
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