Read pages 3-50. • Reader Response: What is your “dominant impression” after reading these first fifty pages of the novel?
Read pages 51-104. • Reader Response: What stands out to you about the culture of Afghanistan and its people?
Read pages 107-157. • Reader Response: What themes do you see emerging as the novel progresses?
Read pages 158-226. • Reader Response: Respond to one of the following topics. • Dating rituals/customs/expectations (162) • Critique the relationship between Laila and Tariq. (185) • How does the conflict in Kabul mimic the struggles between various characters? (195) • Comment on Mariam’s reaction to what develops in Part III. Is she justified, or confounding, because of her reaction to what has happened? • Detailed predictions about what is to come (especially regarding the end of this reading assignment)… (226)
Read pages 227-284. • Reader Response: Respond to one of the following topics. • Should Laila tell about the baby? (246) • Comment on harami coming up again and the kinship Mariam finds with Aziza [as a result?]. (256) • Is it wrong for Laila and Mariam to leave? What gives Laila the courage to take this action? (257) • After Laila and Mariam try to run away, why do you think Rasheed lets Aziza live? Also, why would Hosseini, the author, make this literary decision? (266)
Read pages 285-343. • Reader Response: • Respond regarding events throughout the novel. • Reflect: Which events in the novel have been pivotal to moving the plot forward? Identify and elaborate on a few them and why they are important to the development of the plot.
Read pages 343-415. • Reader Response: Choose one prompt and respond. • Does Mariam make a mistake in killing Rasheed? Do you think she regrets it? Do you think Mariam would have made the same choice to kill Rasheed had she known what was going to happen to her? • Is Laila a coward for leaving Mariam to bear the brunt of her actions alone? What does Hosseini show about Laila’s character in developing the plot in this way?