How does Laila's life play out during 19891992 against the backdrop of a crumbling Soviet Union?
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Tariq and Laila's separation suggests that both will suffer now that they cannot be together. Additionally, Tariq's persistence in promising that he would come back for Laila foreshadows his reappearance later in the novel. Last, when Tariq leaves, Laila's solid foundation is practically pulled out from under her. This act foreshadows the crumbling of everything else around her and the implication that her life is about to take on a precipitous descent. As Afghanistan crumbles, so does Laila's life. She will be forced to marry the misogynistic and abusive Rasheed and remain largely separated from her family.