When the book starts, the first character to be introduced is Miriam. In these first chapters Miriam is young and innocent. Miriam has a lot of love for her parents, but she soon finds out that one of them does not feel the same. Miriam’s father, Jalil, is more concerned about his reputation than he is about her. Miriam makes one big mistake and she receives many harsh and undeserved consequences. Miriam was very happy before, but after many tragic events she becomes very depressed. At this point in the book Miriam is very upset and undergoing many harsh realities. She never wants to see her father again.
When Miriam moves in with Rasheed she is living with a stranger. Miriam cries a lot over her life and Rasheed is unsure of why she is upset. As Miriam starts to accept her life and what it has become, something huge comes up. Rasheed wants children and Miriam is devastated to find out that she is infertile. Rasheed gets angry at Miriam for her problem, which is not something she can control, and they barely speak anymore. Miriam feels hurt and neglected.
Jalil comes to see Miriam at Rasheed’s house one day, but Miriam will not come outside. Miriam still has bottled up feelings of anger and sadness due to her father’s previous neglect to her. A letter is left for Miriam, but instead of reading it she tears it up. Miriam feels that her life just keeps getting worse and worse. She doesn’t understand why life seems to be treating her so badly. However, Miriam doesn’t know that life will soon become better for her, soon enough.
Laila comes into Rasheed’s house at first as a shelter for her medical needs and lack of parents. Laila ends up marrying Rasheed. At first, Miriam is angered and jealous towards Laila. Their relationship starts out rocky, but they actually end up becoming very close. Laila is able to have children and Laila’s daughter, her first child, bonds very well with Miriam. Laila also has a second child, a baby boy. Miriam cares for both Laila’s children very well because she sees them as if they are her own, the children that she could not have herself. Miriam and Laila became very close over the years at Rasheed’s house. They help each other do chores and handle the children. They sit out together in the backyard and drink tea. They even try to run away from Rasheed. After a long and humiliating return to Rasheed’s house, Miriam ends up killing him. When Miriam knows she has to confess about her sin, she undergoes her biggest change in the book. She is scared to be executed and no longer feels pain and depression over her life. She is instead grateful and happy that her life has been fulfilling. She is happy that, after all her suffering, she has helped loved ones and had a purpose in life. She is grateful for her life before she gets executed, which is a huge and hard change for anyone to make.