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Jubilee

3.2  ·  Rating Details ·  619 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
On the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977, an iconic photo of a small Asian boy is taken. Fast forward to the present & the boy, Satish, has become a successful cardiologist. But he is living with a secret. When Satish is asked to take part in a reunion of those involved in the Jubilee photograph, he must confront the truth about that day.
Paperback, 325 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Phoenix (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Oct 19, 2012 Essie Fox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 26, 2012 Rebecca Mckenzie rated it it was ok
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
Annee
Jul 12, 2012 Annee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Laura
Jun 03, 2012 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sophia
Jul 07, 2012 Sophia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
M.B.
Jul 25, 2012 M.B. rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
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
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
Carole
Jul 25, 2012 Carole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 06, 2012 Lou Robinson rated it liked it
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
Bettie☯
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heffalumpi
Jul 28, 2012 Heffalumpi rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2012
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
Oct 31, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it
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?
Leslie
Jun 23, 2016 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love love love this story, ready to read it again right away!
Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya
Oct 19, 2016 Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, in-english
Memories, cruelty, kids, building a life, racism, secrets, addictions, and pivotal points in life: there is all of this and more in this simple, kind book.
Kiwiflora
Apr 05, 2015 Kiwiflora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here, in one of Britain's colonial outposts, generally speaking the Queen is a popular figure head. But because she is so far away, and so remote, and so invisible to us, anything to do with celebrating who she is and what she represents has very little impact. Apart from a long weekend to mark her birthday. Her jubilees too - 25th, 50th, Diamond - come and go here, the average citizen barely noticing. But in the UK of course, completely different story. A jubilee is an event, something to plan ...more
Jules
Without a doubt, this book has some special qualities as a piece of fiction.

This work has many themes but it is highly concentrated in analysing life and culture in the late 1970s hence its title 'Jubilee'. In the opening chapters, we are told about a typical photographical portrait taken during a street party to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee. The portrait is highly culturally analysed mainly from the perspective of Satish, a young immigrant from Uganda, and the narrative develops from th
...more
Paula Maguire
Sep 01, 2012 Paula Maguire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cai
Back in 1977, the United Kingdom celebrated the Jubilee with street parties and decorated streets. A photo of the party in Cherry Gardens made the newspapers and was splashed all over the media. For Satish, the day is a painful memory, one that he would prefer to forget. So thirty years later when they want to reconstruct the photograph, Satish is reluctant.

Jubilee highlights the racism that was prolific through out the 70’s. Harris does a great job of allowing you to feel the injustice of the t
...more
Simon Lipson
Jun 13, 2012 Simon Lipson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 26, 2012 Philtrum rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jacqueline Pye
Jul 19, 2014 Jacqueline Pye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jubilee was a very entertaining read. I didn't check reviews before finishing the book, but I do agree that it could be a little difficult to become emotionally involved with Satish - more like watching with interest from the sidelines. The key issues of the plot were thought-provoking, especially getting to understand better what children like Satish would have had to cope with at that time from all generations of established white families. As the story alternated between 'then and now', occas ...more
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
Sep 11, 2015 Clare Hudson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jayne Charles
One of those books with a present day storyline and a past storyline, which are gradually brought together so that you have just about got the complete picture by the time you reach the last page. It's a common device, but I often find myself irritated in the early stages by things I don't understand, or things seemingly significant but for reasons I won't be told for another hundred or so pages. I had that problem here. I found it hard to get a grip on the characters - there were lots of them - ...more
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
Sue Hunter
Feb 03, 2012 Sue Hunter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
David Egan
Jul 27, 2012 David Egan rated it really liked it
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
Den
Aug 22, 2012 Den rated it it was ok
Shelves: rj-12-summer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Shelley Harris was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1967, to a South African mother and a British father. She has worked, among other things, as a teacher, a reporter, a mystery shopper and a bouncer at a teen disco. When she is not writing, she volunteers at her local Oxfam bookshop, helping customers find just the right book. Her first novel Jubilee was a Richard & Judy Book Club choice, a ...more
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