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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 reality. Amid the party food and the platform shoes, the pop music and the punk, there are tensions in the Cherry Gardens community. As the street party begins, those tensions threaten to erupt. Fast forward to the present and the boy, Satish, has become a successful cardiologist, saving lives, respected by those around him. But he is living with a secret. When Satish is asked to take part in a reunion of those involved in that Jubilee photograph, he must confront the truth about that day, and the events that changed the course of his life
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 134 x 213 x 30mm | 414g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0297864580
  • 9780297864585
  • 1,349,065

Review quote

This is an exceptional, arresting novel which, by shifting skilfully from past to present with ever-increasing tension, highlights the traumatic effects of racism experienced in childhood, and addiction to prescription drugs in the medical profession... The book penetrates beyond the familiar arguments of political correctness to a darker world that needs to be drawn to the light. It makes you aware of how much things have changed in Britain since the last Jubilee, and how far we have travelled in our pursuit of a greater tolerance. Clare Morrall, author of Astonishing Splashes of Colour and The Man Who Disappeared Jubilee is an assured debut by a writer of great promise. It's a sharply-written account of the birth pangs of multicultural Britain Marcel Theroux The South African-born Harris came to Britain with her family in the 1970s and shows an acute understanding of how it feels to be an outsider...a welcome discovery - a new novelist whose next book you are already impatient to read THE GUARDIAN Shelley Harris's remarkably assured debut novel is rooted in the Silver Jubilee celebrations of June 1977...shrewdly observed...The pitch-perfect children's banter and accurate period detail lead authenticity to her prose...an exciting debut that suggests this author will offer many more insightful and compelling stories in the years ahead -- James Urquhart THE INDEPENDENT Boldly plotted and confidently executed, its momentum maintained to the end DAILY MAIL Recreating an iconic photograph of a village street party celebrating the 1977 Jubilee stirs up buried memories, forcing the one Asian boy in the picture to confront himself and his past. Nostalgic and moving WOMAN & HOME IN A NUTSHELL: A sinister secret is dragged into the spotlight after 30 years. PLOT: It's the Queen's Jubilee, 1977, and a photographer snaps an Asian boy at a street party. The photo becomes iconic, and years later the boy is asked to reenact it. Satish, now a successful cardiologist, refuses, but won't say why. Questions are asked and a secret he's kept all those years threatens to ruin his life. WHY READ IT?: Apart from reliving the days of punk and platforms, the suspense simply builds and builds ESSENTIALS The genius of this novel is in the gentle way that the mysteries of the narrative unfold, fully immersing you in the story so that the twists and turns really do take you by surprise in a thoroughly refreshing way... Harris is a truthful writer, and does not shy away from representing the most deplorable sides of human nature. As a troubled and flawed anti-hero, Satish is all the more likeable and relatable to the everyman, and will have the reader laughing with joy and crying out with anguish as he attempts to confront his demons. [The novel] has a heart and soul, a strong moral - yet it never feels didactic, and deep down it fills you with a joyous sense of delight and satisfaction with every turn of the page WE LOVE THIS BOOK Photographs capture a moment, but it is what went on before and after that drives this story. Satish becomes the symbol of an evolving nation when he is snapped at a Silver Jubliee party; but the damage done shapes him 30 years on as he struggles to maintain his family life SAINSBURY'S MAGAZINE Cardiologist Satish is settled with a family. But he is terrified of revisiting the past when a project is launched to reunite the subjects of a 1977 Silver Jubilee street party photo, of which Satish was the star. Racism, childhood relationships and hidden secrets are explored in Shelley Harris' debut novel STAR magazine Shelley Harris's accomplished debut novel Jubilee follows the lasting effect of events at a 1977 Silver Jubilee street party CHOICE magazine Set during the Silver Jubilee of 1977, with scenes from the hero's later life, this deft and moving debut offers more than Seventies nostalgia. A conflict-ridden street party proves a turning point for young Satish, from a family of Ugandan Asian refugees - and for his new community 'i' newspaper
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About Shelley Harris

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. Jubilee is her first novel. Sartaj Garewal has been a professional actor and voice artist for over 14 years. His theatre credits include TINDERBOX (Bush Theatre), ROMEO & JULIET (Manchester Royal Exchange) and TOO CLOSE TO HOME (Lyric Hammersmith). On Television, he plays Jasper in hit US teen drama HOUSE OF AUNBIS for Nickelodeon. Other TV & Film credits include THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (20th Century Fox), THE INFIDEL (Slingshot), DIRTY WAR (HBO/BBC), LAW & ORDER (Kudos), KEEN EDDIE (Paramount), BASELINE (Motion Picture House), DOCTORS, CASUALTY, THE BILL and EASTENDERS. Sartaj played the lead role of Kuljit Singh on BBC radio drama SILVER STREET for 6 years. Other BBC radio drama includes THE ARCHERS, CLARE IN THE COMMUNITY and THE SPIRITUAL CENTRE. His audio books include CUTTING FOR STONE by Abraham Verghese and OURS ARE THE STREETS by Sunjeev Sahota.
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Rating details

799 ratings
3.19 out of 5 stars
5 10% (80)
4 27% (216)
3 40% (323)
2 17% (135)
1 6% (45)
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