Who was Laila in A Thousand Splendid Suns like in The Kite Runner and The Thorn Birds?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Laila in A Thousand Splendid Suns is parted from her true love, Tariq, and must marry Rasheed to find a legitimate father for her child. However, her marriage to Rasheed is brutal and abusive. In this sense, Laila is similar to Meggie, the protagonist of The Thorn Birds. Like Laila, Meggie loves someone she can not marry. In Meggie's case, this is Father Ralph de Bricassart. She loves him deeply, and he loves her back. Ralph cannot marry, however, because he is a priest. Eventually, Meggie has a love child with Ralph, whom she names Dane, but she is married to Luke. Like Rasheed, Luke is abusive toward his wife, and they have a loveless marriage. 

The character in A Thousand Splendid Suns who is most like Laila is potentially Hassan, who is brutally raped by Assef. In many ways, Hassan accepts this abuse in order to protect his best friend Amir (who turns out to be his half-brother). Like Meggie and Laila, Hassan does not receive the love he truly deserves. He is Baba's son, but Baba does not recognize him as his son. Later, Hassan dies, and Amir ultimately takes care of his son, hoping to make up for the love Amir did not give Hassan when he was alive. Meggie, Laila, and Hassan do not always receive the love they crave, and their children are all born into perilous circumstances. As a result, they share some similarities. 

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A Thousand Splendid Suns

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