Jubilee
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Jubilee

3.13 of 5 stars 3.13  ·  rating details  ·  400 ratings  ·  93 reviews
It is 1977, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, and a photographer captures a moment forever: a street party with bunting and Union Jacks fluttering in the breeze. Right in the centre of the frame, a small Asian boy stares intently into the camera. The photograph becomes iconic, a symbol of everything that is great about Britain. But the harmonious image conceals a very different...more
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Published by Orion Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2011)
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Faith Spinks
I was recommended this book by a colleague at work. She told me that it was the best book she had read in ages. I clearly need to recommend some better books for her to read! It wasn't that it was a bad book - I did enjoy reading it. But it probably won't join the ranks of books I like to re-read or books I'd enthusiastically recommend to others.

In 1977 as the residents of Cherry Gardens hold a street party to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee a photographer from a local newspaper takes a pho...more
Essie Fox
The camera never lies – or does it?

In her brilliantly observed debut novel Shelley Harris begins her story with a photograph that has been taken during an English suburban street party to celebrate the 1977 Jubilee. That picture goes on to be an iconic image, and one syndicated around the world, in which Satish, an immigrant Asian boy is seen sitting amongst his white neighbourhood friends.

It is a powerful emblem of hope, of tolerance and racial harmony. But what happened just before that event...more
Rebecca Mckenzie
I bought this book at the airport in Birmingham and thought it would be a fun read amongst all the Jubilee paraphernalia this year in England - not what I was expecting at all. This was the first novel written by this author and although her intent was good, she missed the mark with her poor writing and it was a struggle to finish.

Satish's addiction should have been more substantiated to fall more in line with the story - as it was, it didn't flow with the plot - is this book about racism, addi...more
Laura
Jun 03, 2012 Laura rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4:
Satish was at the centre of an iconic photo of a Jubilee street party taken in 1977 but thirty years on he dreads a reunion. Even though he is now a successful paediatric cardiologist and happily married with two children of his own, the events of that fateful day are seared on his memory.
David Hebblethwaite
Satish Patel was a boy at the time of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, the son of an immigrant Ugandan family in an otherwise all-white Buckinghamshire village; he was a key figure in a photograph taken of the village’s Jubilee celebrations, an image which became iconic. Thirty years on, Satish is a successful cardiologist with a habit of helping himself to diazepam from the medicine cabinet; he receives a call from an old friend, telling him of plans to stage a reconstruction of the photo – but Sati...more
M.B.
I read the blurb on this in Tesco and found it intriguing and that it was going to be a great read. Yeah, I was mislead.

The story is told both in 1977 and the present day. Usually, I quite enjoy books written in this way (or from multiple points of views), but in this case I found it really confusing.

Also, the main character of Satish... he bored me. It got to the point where I truly didn't care what happened to him. I only persevered with the book because I thought (or hoped) that it might just...more
Sophia
When Satish Patel was twelve, a photographer took a picture of the street party held in his road during the Silver Jubilee. Satish was in the foreground, seemingly happy amongst his friends, and the photo became incredibly famous - a symbol of racial integration and community spirit. Thirty years on, Satish is a successful heart surgeon, married with two children and a good life. When an old friend contacts him trying to organise a reunion to restage the photograph, Satish panics. He starts taki...more
Carole
This was an easy to read story about a group of people who lived in the same street as children when the Queen's silver jubilee celebrations took place. The main character is Satish, who is now a successful children's cardiac surgeon, and the story flits between current time and the day of the jubilee street party when - in the grand tradition of story-telling - 'something happened that would change the course of those children's lives for ever'. I thought the storyline was quite good, it wasn't...more
Lou Robinson
Not a bad little story, the title is somewhat self-explanatory, in that it is themed around a jubilee event. What I liked about it? The flash backs to the silver jub and forward to this year's diamond effort, some of the characters, particularly Mandy and Sarah (I can picture them in their 70s flares) and the accurate recounting of what it was like in 1977 middle England. But, the downsides, I didn't particularly like the main character, Satish. The end was disappointing, I kept thinking there w...more
Annee
I was looking forward to this book, it seemed intriguing. But OMG talk about drag it out, I think I said out loud on a few occasions 'just tell us the secret!'. I even sped read a few chapters thinking it must be coming up now... When it was eventually revealed, I just thought 'oh right' , so it really wasn't worth waiting for.

Touching on the racist elements of the book (and trying not to give any spoilers), it really was awful that this was accepted back then.
Heffalumpi
This book promised so much on the cover description but it just failed to materialise in the story.

The books theme had very good potential but I don't feel that it was at all well executed. It was a good look at the nostalgia of the 1970's but so much more development of the characters was required. The book ticked along but was not a great page turner.

This book has already been relegated to the charity shop pile as I could not recommend it to anyone else.
Jane
At first I wasn't sure about the to-ing and fro-ing between present and past, but it did help to build suspense to the final scenes. The images were from a childhood Britain that I remember and I enjoyed this aspect of the book. The white racial attitudes that abounded at that time are well portrayed and I liked the final little twists and turns that were unexpected.
Helen Matthews-grout
I don't think it was as good as everyone says it is, but an enjoyable read at an appropriate time! I found the swtiching of stories a little confusing, and thought the 'event' that happened to him a little underwhelming... maybe I missed the point?
Catherine
When I first saw this book I thought it would be a great read.....unfortunately it is only ok. This book is simple and some people like that but I found that I was getting bored a lot and almost stopped reading it a few time. I think your meant to like the main character but for me he just isn't that likeable. The book jumps back and fourth and usually this doesn't bother me but with this one it just didn't work properly and I wish it just stayed in the past. Though this book does have a point t...more
Simon Lipson
A little gem.

A street party photograph taken on Jubilee Day in 1977 has become symbolic of the era, its subjects a microcosm of British society. But behind the smiles lie secrets - about the relationships between some of them and the events of that day - that slowly emerge through the eyes of Ugandan Asian immigrant Satish. I'll say no more about the plot, save that it's beautifully wrought, teased out through flashbacks and glimpses of the present day.

The delights here are many. Harris evokes...more
Philtrum
This is the story of Satish Patel, a lad of Indian descent whose parents fled Uganda when he was very young and made their home in the South East of England.

The story flips back and forth in time – between 1977 (specifically the day of a street party for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee) and the present time.

Back then, Satish was the only non-white kid in his street. Now, he’s a successfully paediatric cardiologist. But he remains haunted – or at least significantly affected – by events which took pla...more
Paula Maguire
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lesley
A really good read. Both sad and funny and a great look back at a time past. At the time of the Silver Jubilee I had been married for five years and had a three year old son and a one year old son. I can remember very clearly the street party we had. The memories of the seventies in this book are just wonderful and the present time stuff seen through The eyes of Satish is great too. This book bought back a lot of memories of a time past. A thoroughly satisfying ending. I enjoyed it.
Harriet Lake
To continue my resolution to (sortof) review the books I finish on here (though I've definitely missed some), I thought this book was OK. I liked the characters and there were some excellent moments, but I feel it didn't give enough attention to the truly interesting aspects of the story.
The story is loosely about generations of an Asian family who moved to the UK in the 1970s. It jumps from present day to the Jubilee in the 70s, when the protagonist was a child. It explores issues of racism an...more
Clare Hudson
My second read of this book. I read it first time round about the time of the Diamond Jubilee (2012?) - will it live up to a second read and come on the house move with us? Or will it end up at the charity shop....?

Hmmmm - debating about this but think it will go to the charity shop. I definitely shan't read it again, though I did enjoy second time round. You could almost feel the racial tension coming from the pages from the young boys in the story.... I'm sure in some parts of the UK not much...more
Britta Jensen
A fascinating glimpse at 1977s England. Having grown-up in Japan, I couldn't help drawing parallels between my upbringing in Japan and Satish's assimilation into English culture. The power of memory and its ability to define us, if we let us, plays beautiful throughout this book.
Den
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Egan
This is a fine novel about the complexity of late childhood set against the backdrop of,as the title suggests,the 1977 Silver Jubilee celebrations.As a thirteen year old myself at the time and so being there,this could have been horribly inauthentic.It wasn't.Lots of details rang true and much forgotten ( All that food.I went to five separate parties,all within five to ten minutes walking distance in the surrounding streets so I could absolutely stuff myself without adult reprimand.In my defence...more
Anni
What a boring, boring book. I nearly couldn't bring myself to finish it. You are waiting all the time to actually find out what happend at Jubilee day, and the plot is just so dull. Nothing happesn. He is talking to someone, doing his job, very exciting.
It is written nicely, but it is so not exciting. Definitely not gonna read it again.
Sue Hunter
Satish was one of several children featured in a famous photograph supposedly representing diversity in Britain. Taken at a street party celebrating the Queen's Silver Jubilee, this photograph continues to haunt Satish. When pressure is put on him to take part, decades later, in an updated photograph, he is reluctant. He has a secret which could jeopardise his illustrious career as a cardiologist.

Switching to and fro between the present day, and Satish's professional success, and the time of the...more
Kirsty Darbyshire
Quite surprised by how poorly others seem to have thought of this book on Goodreads. I enjoyed the two pronged approach showing what was really happening behind the scenes of a Silver Jubilee party photo; the story is told switching between the children's view in 1977 and their adult views of 2007. Mostly centring on Satish, persecuted as the only non-white child on the street as a 12 year old in 1977 who has become a successful cardiologist by 2007, I thought this was an interesting take on Bri...more
Myeka
Took a while to get into this book but I did enjoy how it presented the issues of racism from the perspective of adolescents in 1977 in London.
Tania
I found this book very poignant, remembering the Jubilee in 1977 quite clearly, but also because it's an excellent story, so well told. Harris knows how to unspool just enough to keep you guessing, keep you turning page after page, and the ending is fantastic, something I don't often say about a novel! Her main character, Satish, is all too human, flawed and yet highly sympathetic. There are no caricatures here, no stereotypes, just people who make mistakes, and Harris so beautifully portrays th...more
Book-shelf Shelf
Brilliantly written account of 1 day and how it affected the rest of 1 person's life! I enjoyed looking back at the 70's and the things/adverts/attitudes of the era, but saddened that i was a child in that time and couldn't see or do anything about what went on in many's lives as shown in Satish's childhood. This book could show a lot of people today how their actions affect others, but i'm sure those people just wouldn't want to listen. Would recommend this to be read as part of the school read...more
Elizabeth Moffat
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book at first, it seemed to be a bit of a slow burner but in the end I loved the story of Satish, an Asian child stuck in the middle of a predominantly white neighbourhood in the seventies around the time of the Jubilee (hence the name). The story focuses on a street party photograph that Satish is part of. Present-day Satish is a successful paediatric cardiologist with a few problems. He is asked to do a reunion photograph thirty years on but he is relu...more
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