Jubilee Hardcover – 29 Dec 2011
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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)
A heartwarming and nostalgic novel set during a street party for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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.
There were times when I was frustrated with the lead character but time reveals why he behaves the way he does.
Shelley Harris conjures up images that are universally familiar, excellent plot with twists and turns upto the last word.
Got this as I'd loved Vigilante, will continue to follow this excellent author.
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