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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Snapshot of 70s Britain
Jubilee centres around a snapshot taken during a street party to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977. The photograph becomes iconic, firstly because it features a small Asian boy and is held up as an example of multicultural Britain, and later when a punk bank use a pastiche of the photo on their album cover.

30 years later the photographer wants to...
Published on 5 Jun 2012 by Denise4891

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3.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic but falls at the final hurdle
It's Jubilee Day 1977 & Satish & his street are holding a party to celebrate. A local newspaper photographer captures the moment & the photo becomes a part of the day. Now, 30 years on, the photographer wants to hold a reunion & recreate the famous shot but secrets from Satish's past & issues in his present leave him questioning whether or not to take part.
I really...
Published 5 months ago by Lorna


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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Snapshot of 70s Britain, 5 Jun 2012
By 
Denise4891 (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jubilee (Kindle Edition)
Jubilee centres around a snapshot taken during a street party to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977. The photograph becomes iconic, firstly because it features a small Asian boy and is held up as an example of multicultural Britain, and later when a punk bank use a pastiche of the photo on their album cover.

30 years later the photographer wants to recreate the moment with the original `cast' but gets mixed reactions from those involved, not all of whom want to remember the events of that turbulent day. The Asian boy, Satish, is now a successful consultant paediatric cardiologist and a happily married father of two. However, beneath the surface he is wrestling with demons of his own, and the thought of dredging up unhappy memories from his childhood does not appeal. Satish's family had fled to the UK from Uganda in the early 70s and at the time of the Jubilee were still struggling to establish themselves as British citizens. Their integration into the quiet Buckinghamshire street where the party takes place has not always been smooth, so tempers fray and hidden prejudices come to the fore as the residents of Cherry Gardens prepare for the big day.

The tension builds slowly and the pace overall is fairly sedate, with just one or two flashes of violence. Shelley Harris, who herself came to Britain as a child in the 70s, has successfully recreated a sense of time and place, and whilst there's a pleasing amount of retro detail, she has thankfully managed to resist laying on the nostalgic references with a trowel (which must be tempting with this sort of book). The novel is not about the Jubilee itself, but more about the subsequent lives of this disparate group of people who came together on 7th June 1977 to celebrate it. I found it a very interesting and perceptive debut novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, well written and thought-provoking, 19 July 2014
This review is from: Jubilee (Kindle 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', occasionally I would begin a chapter and not be sure of the setting for a couple of paragraphs. At the same time it's no mean feat to skilfully dovetail two time frames, and this was really well done. I might have liked to get to know Satish's children a little better, with maybe an occasional illustration of how far our society has come in terms of happy integration, and Satish's reaction to that. So I 'do' care! Anyway, Jubilee is a very good read, and well recommended. I look forward to Shelley's next book, Vigilante, due out next year.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A street celebrates the Queen's Jubilee!, 19 May 2014
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This review is from: Jubilee (Kindle Edition)
I was not very enthralled with this book. I think it is just a personal view. It did not really interest me, and I couldn't be bothered to become involved.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love the 70's vibe!, 13 May 2014
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This review is from: Jubilee (Paperback)
A real nostalgia read for me. Great structure and pace to it and its packed with REAL people. Best quote: 'That's the joy of history: its clear, backward glance.'
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 9 April 2014
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Kate (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jubilee (Hardcover)
Clever, easy to read, I enjoyed this book. I would recommend it, as would most of my friends who had already read it before me.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic but falls at the final hurdle, 11 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Jubilee (Paperback)
It's Jubilee Day 1977 & Satish & his street are holding a party to celebrate. A local newspaper photographer captures the moment & the photo becomes a part of the day. Now, 30 years on, the photographer wants to hold a reunion & recreate the famous shot but secrets from Satish's past & issues in his present leave him questioning whether or not to take part.
I really enjoyed the lashings of nostalgia in the 1977 portions of the book - having grown up in a similar street full of children from my school I could make connections with this part & found it spot on. However, I didn't really connect with the grown up Satish et al & when the final reveal of his big secret came I was a bit "Is that it?" I kept expecting it to develop further but it never did. The ending coming when it did was a disappointment & I would have liked more on the incident as opposed to the build-up of the day.
Saying that, it's an easy summer/beach read & good for a trip down memory lane.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars None, 17 Jun 2012
This review is from: Jubilee (Kindle Edition)
Sorry to say.but i didn't like this at all.For me ,it just rambled on,and i'm just grateful i've finished. very slow and generally dull!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good pacing and detail, 26 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Jubilee (Paperback)
This book was chosen by a member of my bookgroup for our "summer read" and I had to have two attempts to read it, as the first time it didn't grab me. At the second attempt, I really enjoyed it. I am exactly the right age to remember much of the "period detail" and enjoyed references to items and events I had forgotten. I thought the pacing and detail of the book were very good and enjoyed the way that details revealed in the earlier time period were later shown to have relevance in the later time period. I liked the character of Satish and was shocked by the casual racism he and his family experienced. My only criticism is that the morning leading up to the Jubilee party was very long and I found myself wondering when it would ever reach the party! Satish's encounters in later life with the people he had known in his childhood were well written, though perhaps a touch predictable, and the accounts of his addiction believable. I would recommend this book as a great summer read for all 40-somethings!
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Took me right back to the day, 17 Feb 2012
This review is from: Jubilee (Hardcover)
Although this is a story of many other things than a silver jubilee party, there's no doubt that a large part of the appeal of the book, for me and I'm sure for others, was the way it so vividly transported me back to such an iconic day - the politics of our street party, the roll out of the day, the people that my family and neighbours were...and then, it set me thinking about where we all are now and how our lives turn out as compared to the characters in the book. Even if you didn't spend the silver jubilee at a street party Jubilee is a great story; its themes treated with humanity and reality rather than drama for its own sake - moving, insightful and occasionally shocking. If you too can own up to listening to David Soul, jumping elastic in the playground and eating Artic Roll it's an absolute must-read.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than A Celebration, 3 Jun 2013
By 
M. J. Saxton (Dewsbury, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jubilee (Paperback)
A secret can shadow your whole life; it can make things grow out of perspective; it can lead to serious personal consequences. Best to share with those you love and those involved and get it out in the open then it can hold no more power. This is the underlying message of "Jubilee".

Fortunately, the book doesn't preach to get it across as so many contemporary novels can.

A photograph was taken at Jubilee celebrations in Cherry Gardens in 1977. Before it was taken Satish had been involved in a series of incidents which led to him becoming a victim, but what of? The children of the street were in that in-out tangle of relationships that permeates school life. Alliances and rivalries changed constantly until they reached one resolution on that day.

Years later Satish still carries the scars of what happened which he shares with no-one. Until the original photographer wants to reshoot the photo of them all that became a worldwide phenomenon.

The story gradually unpeels the events of that day in 1977, probably typical of so many places, and, run though he might, Satish has to take a clear look at what happened to him. As he re-encounters childhood friends and gains perspective from his family and contemporary life, he realises that what he has held inside all these years was not the demon he had feared, nor did it mean what he thought.

Shelley Harris does an excellent job in showing how we can hold onto childhood impressions and allow them to fester unless something helps us examine them in the clear light of adulthood. Satish's brush with addiction is well drawn and the development of an anxiety disorder believable. The denouement is a release for character and reader alike.

The book highlights suburban attitudes of '77 and the anxieties prevalent in early 21st century British society. It is involving, interesting and extremely well-written. An example of narrative contemporary fiction at its best.
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Jubilee
Jubilee by Shelley Harris (Paperback - 24 May 2012)
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