Book review: Jubilee by Shelley Harris- Sarah P’s pick

The book opens with a brief moment in time, a photo taken in 1977. It was taken at a street party in Buckinghamshire, celebrating the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. There is party food, Coronation chicken, Union Jacks and new clothes. In the middle of the photo is a 12 year old Indian boy, Satish. The photo becomes famous and a symbol of the time, representing multicultural Britain.

 

Satish’s family has come toEngland with very little, following the Idi Amin’s expulsion of Indians from Uganda. They are not fully accepted by their new neighbours. Satish plays with the other children but there is still the idea that he is not really one of them.

 

The book switches between 1977 and 2007. Satish is now a paediatric cardiologist with a young family of his own. As a planned reunion of those involved in the Jubilee photograph approaches he is thinking back to that day. Initially Satish refuses to take part in the new photograph. We know something awful happened on the day of the original photo and the book builds up to this revelation. Satish is hiding secrets- about what really happened on the day of the photograph and a secret about his life now.

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