She is one of the main characters and the daugther of Jalil and Nana. She is a bastard girl, who lives in a hut with her mother isolated from the town. Mariam is not described as beautiful, but also she is not ugly. Her father visits her once a week and she love this visits. Her mother Nana tells her, that Jalil is a liar who just visits her to clean his bad consience. When Mariam one day goes to town to see her father, the maiden tells her, that he is not home. Mariam refuses to return until her father is back and sleeps on the steps of the door. She can see her father standing behind a window and watching her the next day and learns, that Nana was right and that Jalil doesn't want her as his daughter. She then returns to home, desillusioned, only to find that her mother has hung herself. Jalil takes care of Mariam for a few days, but marries her then to Rasheed. So Mariam finds herself in a completly new city with a stranger being her husband. She tries to fit in this situation as good as she can and when she becomes pregnant, her life seems to turn better. However, she loses the child and finds out, that she can have no children. This is, when Rasheed shows her his true face, becoming uninteressted and cold-hearted when being with her and even forces her to chaw pebbles, as one day her rice wasn't good enough for him. Although Mariam doen't like Laile in the beginnig, they become good friends after a while and acting like mother and daughter. It is because of Laila that Mariam learns her true strength and her will to stand up against the man who opressed her so long.
Laila is the second main character. She is the daughter of Fariba and Haikm, her brothers are Noor and Ahmad. She has blonde hair and is a natural beauty. Her best friend is Tariq, they know each other sind they were small children and when Laila becomes older she also falls in love with him. Laila goes to school and is an educated young woman, which makes her the completly opposite of Mariam. When Tariq leaves with his parents because of the war, they sleep together and Laila becomes pregnant. She then marries Rasheed who found her, after a bomb destroyed her house and killed her parents, so she can have a father for her child, although she knows that Tariq is the true father. She names the babygirl Aziza and becuase of Aziza, she becomes friend with Mariam. She also tries to flee with Mariam and her daughter, but get caught and send back home. Laila becomes pregnant a second time and gives birth to a boy, Zalmai. With her two children, she is addicted to Rasheed, who can force her to give them away anytime. Through all this years she can't forgeht Tariq, even when a stranger tells her, that Tariq was in a hospital with him and died.
To be continued...