I’m not entirely sure where to start or even really what to say about this one. Jubilee by Shelley Harris, while all in all an easy read and somewhat of a page turner, the overall pace of the book was fairly slow and I did finish it confused at to whether I enjoyed or not…
Set in both 1977, the year of the Queen’s silver jubilee, and thirty years later; the story flits between the two eras and between the lives of some of the people of Cherry Gardens. The main focus however is firmly on Satish, twelve year old resident of Cherry Gardens and later, paediatric heart surgeon.
In 1977 a photo of the road’s street party celebrating the jubilee was taken. It was a photo that would never leave Satish, forever binding him to that place and time, to those people and to their wrong doings. Becoming a famous image – a symbol – of Britain’s multicultural spirit, the lie of the photograph forever weighs heavily with Satish.
Thirty years after that photo was taken, the photographer wants to recreate the infamous image. Satish was the star of the photograph but wants nothing to do with it, and nothing to do with the residents of Cherry Gardens.
When mysterious notes start appearing blackmailing him into doing the photo, ‘or else’, we slowly start to learn what really happened back in 1977 to make him so opposed to taking part.
I’m not even sure if I’ve described that well enough, but that’s the best you’re going to get from me.
I’d say the story on the whole deals with issues in humanity and society, aiming to focus on how small and seemingly insignificant moments in life can shape our futures – for better or worse. It highlights racism of the 70s, a place that no one wants to really venture to and certainly don’t want to admit is still around in certain areas and generations, but is something that should be remembered and pushed into the modern consciousness to keep us all working on stamping it out for good.
The story was well written and I did find myself reading for long stints as I wanted to find out what had happened and what was going to happen, but like I say, by the time I finished the story, I was kind of left with a ‘is that it?’ sort of feeling.
And that really is all I have to say about it. Would I recommend it? Yeah..? I mean, not a lot happens in it but there’s enough to keep you wanting to find out more and it was written well, so if you’re in the mood for something easy to read and conscience stimulating, then sure, give Jubilee by Shelley Harris a go.
Up next to read: The Crooked House by Agatha Christie.
Until next time. x