At the start of the novel Zara has to wrestle with a dilemma about how to act. It’s one of those decisions where there’s no clear right course of action, where anything that she chooses to do is going to have negative effects and costs.
Ash likens her dilemma to a problem in moral philosophy (rather like the famous trolley problem). Here’s how he describes it:
‘There’s this baby, crawling on a train track. And there’s a train coming, heading straight for him, and you can’t reach him in time to pick him up, but you can change the points and divert the train onto the other track. Only then it’ll run over an old man who’s fallen asleep there. So, what do you do?
Here’s a summary of Zara’s dilemma, set out in the form of a polling card. How would you vote?