Chapters 40-41 Summary

Kabul is in the second year of a severe drought that has driven farmers off their land and into other countries. Lines at the public wells are long, and Mariam and Laila wait for hours just to get a little water for the family. Mariam and Laila dig a large hole in the yard to hide household items from the Taliban. While they work, Zalmai chases his sister, Aziza, around the yard. Zalmai resembles his father in looks, yet when he is alone with Laila, he is a sweet, good-natured boy. However, Zalmai worships his father, so when Rasheed is around, Zalmai resorts to mischievous behavior that Rasheed praises as “a sign of intelligence.” Laila gets to spend little time with her son because Rasheed often takes the boy to his shoe...

(The entire section is 547 words.)