This stunning debut by A.A. Khan is set in Lahore in 2018. The book explores the lives of five women who lead extraordinary lives.

An intriguing and compelling introduction assures the reader that the story is neither "an exaggeration or fantastical but an actual portrayal of the lives of many in Pakistan."

Born into wealth, Maya and Arzoo are best friends, achieving what is expected of them, from top grades to entry into exclusive Ivy League schools.

Gliding through Lahore's glittering soirees, Ariyana is the picture of perfection and charming Laila is married to a business tycoon.

We are shown a world where image is everything and tradition prevails.

The author explains, "this book isn't so much about how men treat women, but about how women treat women."

The reader hears about beleaguered women who suffer from the thorny issues of accepted patriarchy.  

One character, Fehranaz describes her father as a man “among these illiterate semen holders who wanted a son.” After six daughters, “thankfully the seventh was a boy, and her mother was now at ease from her husband’s obsession and frenzied lovemaking (or rather body bashing)- frenzied in the hope that the more energetic the copulation, the more likely his wife would produce a noble heir to his squatter shack.”

In a further tone of resigned acceptance, we read that “the state of mind of women at conception ultimately determined the sex of the child.”

From bearing the right child to raising them correctly, there is a distinct tone of the unfortunate daughter being demeaned and dehumanised throughout her ill-fated existence.

“Maya’s mother felt she raised her daughters well enough to take a good beating from a man (though she had never ever endured one herself.”

The brutal honesty of the narrative is enthralling, marked by the weary recognition that it is, in fact, the women who are subjugating their own and imposing injustice.

When Arzoo tells her mother about her plans to marry a non-Pakistani, her mother’s caustic response reverberates. “A GORA? YOU WANT TO MARRY A GORA? OH, ALLAH SAVE ME. OH, WHY DID YOU MAKE ME LIVE FOR THIS DAY?”

Sorry It’s A Girl reveals an extraordinary insight into a world that is riveting and absorbing, leaving an indelible mark on the reader.

The book is available here