‘Sorry It’s A Girl’ is the latest book by A.A. Khan.
Lahore, 2018: In a city teeming with gossip and rumours, where the spoken word is as sharp as a whip, five women lead extraordinary lives. Born into wealth and opulence, Maya and Arzoo are best friends, achieving everything that is expected of them, from top grades to entry into the exclusive Ivy League schools. Gliding through Lahore’s glittering soirees, Ariyana is the picture of perfection. Charming Laila is married to a business tycoon, living a life of luxury that others could only dream of. But life is rarely perfect. In this world where image is everything and tradition prevails, these women struggle to negotiate friendships, family and society’s expectations. Beneath the designer clothes lie hidden scars and secrets that cannot be told. And in amongst it all, love blooms.
‘Sorry, It’s A Girl’ is a fascinating insight into the world of being a young woman in Pakistan.
The story is seen through multiple perspectives of women of all ages as they struggle with the harsh reality of being a woman and being seen as the inferior gender.
The book is seen through the many narratives. But the stories that stood out to me, were best friends Maya and Arrzoo who are both being forced into arranged marriages. Maya is having to marry her cousin, even though she’s in love with another man called Ali. The story follows her journey as she battles with her family loyalty and her own freedom and happiness. Whilst Arrzoo is enjoying her time in Stanford, away from her family and enjoying her space. Although both women are fighting against the strict traditions and cultures of their family, it’s heartbreaking to read as the story develops, their spirits fade with very relative that has an opinion on their lifestyle.
Another story was Fehranaz, a little girl who’s parents sold her to become a servant. Her boss is a tyrant of a woman called Mrs S, who’s a fearful woman with a quick temper and very quick to raise her hand. She’s feared within the society of ladies.
‘Sorry, It’s A Girl’ is a harsh and quick witted story that really shines a light on the harsh reality of being a woman, the constant disappointment for not born a boy, the inequality and the arranged marriages. It was occasionally a harsh read with the graphic scenes of abuse that the women were exposed to and it was also harrowing to read such simple things that we take for granted, like the freedom of being out and not having to adhere to such strict rules.
Although the book is quite long at 552 pages, the author keeps the reader engaged with the multiples narratives as well as the vivid descriptions of the luxurious brands and lifestyles, the food as well as the language and most importantly, the culture.
Beautifully written but equally harrowing, ‘Sorry, It’s A Girl’, is a fascinating book and after reading this story, it really made me appreciate the simpler life that I’ve been fortunate to lead with no restrictions and limitations.
You can buy ‘Sorry It’s A Girl’ from Amazon