I would argue that this book is about a young woman’s struggle against a traditional life that is expected of her, rather than exploitation.
From a young age, our protagonist, Layla, is different from other young women in her community because of the fact that her late father requested that she receive a Western education. This she receives, while still adhering to cultural traditions with her aunts. Everything changes, however, when her uncle, Hamid, takes charge of the family. Layla is no longer permitted to voice or live by the ideas which she had learned during the course of getting her education. She is expected, instead, to adhere to her Indian culture and obey the myriad Muslim customs and rules. While Layla certainly becomes more controlled at this stage of her life, I would not describe her situation as being exploited.
Layla later gets to go to college, which is once again a sign that she is not exploited, even if the education she receives is not as “Western” as she would have liked it to be. Over and above that, she meets and marries a man of her own accord, against the wishes of her family. This once again showcases Layla being in charge of her own destiny, rather than being a victim of exploitation.