The Pandora Project
When fifteen-year-old Stroma does a poor job of writing a personal profile for English class, her teacher, Mrs Adams, forces an examination of her detached attitude. Entropic adult events when she was ten destroyed a close friendship, her granny and left her bitter. Looking back to that summer can she shake off her lethargy? Those despised and loves lost she needs find to help her regain her life. More
For Stroma trouble began with the boy next door, Musa Elmahdy, entering her life. Like his Egyptian father, he is attractive and suspect; nothing like his Ethiopian mother, Makla, or delightful sister, Kasrin.
In reflection, Stroma focuses on the summer before her last year at Primary School with her friend, Kaitlyn and the day she found Musa in her garden. He is spying on an ‘mad old woman’ living there. This is Stroma’s granny, Sybil, who suffers from dementia. Sometimes she is Stroma’s lucid granny, at others, herself aged twelve and treating Stroma as her childhood friend, Romy.
A tenuous relationship is formed between Stroma and Musa. From her garden Musa is drawn to Balbride’s Round Tower; an ancient structure in the Kirkyard whose purpose is lost in myth. Musa considers it to be a minaret and tells of how, when persecuted in Egypt as Coptic Christians, he witnessed his grandparents’ murder. Saved by a mu’addhin, he and his parents escaped to Germany. They decide to make a video around the tower adapting Musa’s story but this leads to dreadful events.
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