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The Pandora Project

196 pages3 hours


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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