"She hadn't understood the awfulness of her mother's loss. Now another stranger bringing news of another death. Now she was the one sitting on the chair. Was this her penalty, then, her punishment for being aloof to her own mother's suffering?" 

When Abdul Sharif arrives in Kabul and tells Laila of Tariq’s gruesome death, she experiences loss in a new, ineffably painful way that gives her a new perspective on her own mother’s grief. Her childhood relationship with Tariq was so meaningful to her that losing him leaves her feeling completely helpless, and she finally beings to understand why her mother struggled so much in the wake of her brothers’ deaths. This event marks the end of Laila’s connection to her carefree childhood and cements her position in Rasheed’s violent, misogynistic world.

"Then an astonishing thing happened: The girl lunged at him. She grabbed his arm with both hands and tried to drag him down, but she could do no more than dangle from it. She did succeed in slowing Rasheed's progress toward Mariam." 

In Chapter 28, Rasheed accuses Mariam of teaching Laila to refuse him and aims to beat her in response. To Mariam’s surprise, Laila attempts to physically restrain Rasheed, and this act signifies her willingness to look past their differences in order to fight a common enemy. Laila’s intervention also reflects the more liberal attitudes that characterized her childhood, including the idea that women are just as deserving of respect as men. The fact that she manages to maintain this uplifting perspective despite the oppressive environment in which she lives highlights the strength of her personal moral code.

"She has become plagued by restlessness. She hears of schools built in Kabul, roads repaved, women returning to work, and her life here, pleasant as it is, grateful as she is for it, seems…insufficient to her. Inconsequential. Worse yet, wasteful. Of late, she has started hearing Babi's voice in her head. You can be anything you want, Laila, he says. I know this about you. And I also know that when this war is over, Afghanistan is going to need you." 

Despite the peacefulness that characterizes her life in Murree, Laila finds herself longing to return to Kabul in Chapter 50. The “restlessness” that she feels comes from a desire to lead a life of purpose, a desire initially inspired by her father and reinforced by Mariam’s sacrifice. Laila’s characteristic determination and optimism reemerge as she enjoys a life free of Rasheed’s oppression, and with these qualities, she finds a way to uplift her community and carry on the legacies of the people she cared for most.