A heart-warming and reflective story about an outsider’s perspective on the community street party occasion that swept the nation in 1977 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee. Clever, insightful and a trip down memory lane.
- best book club reads -
BY SHELLEY HARRIS
This is a heart-warming and reflective story written by Shelley Harris, a South African immigrant, about an outsider’s perspective on the community street party occasion that swept the nation in 1977 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth's II's Silver Jubilee. Clever, nostalgic and insightful.
First published around the time of Queen Elizabeth's II's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the story takes the reader back to a local newspaper photograph that captured a celebratory moment of a street party in 1977, another memorable jubilee year. Centre frame is a small Asian boy. Described as ‘happy and glorious’. But was it? Amid the street party food, Union Jack bunting and royal paraphernalia there are tensions in Cherry Gardens. Fast forward 30 years the young boy Satish is now a successful cardiologist with a young family. Invited to participate in a reunion photograph Satish is living with a secret about that day and the events that changed the course of his life. The novel sets out to unravel some of the street secrets and explain the impact on their lives.
The Den enjoyed looking back at their own jubilee experiences and sharing secrets from their teenage years. Whilst this book perhaps seemed dated for some Den readers it picked up on untold and conflicting stories behind a photograph, be it an official school photo, a wedding or anniversary gathering or as in this case of 'Jubilee', a newspaper photograph. Book club also enjoyed the author's owns lists that captured this decade including favourite foods (prawn cocktail, Smash and Artic roll), favourite bands and artists (David Bowie, Stevie Wonder and Sex Pistols), favourite TV programmes (Top of the Pops, Starsky & Hutch, Roots) and books that capture the era (Brick Lane, Small Island, Not Abba: The Real Story of the '70s)!