It is 1977, the Queen's Silver Jubilee, and a photographer captures a moment forever: a street party with bunting and Union Jacks fluttering in the breeze. Right in the centre of the frame, a small Asian boy stares intently into the camera. The photograph becomes iconic, a symbol of everything that is great about Britain. But the harmonious image conceals a very different reality. Amid the party food and the platform shoes, the pop music and the punk, there are tensions in the Cherry Gardens community. As the street party begins, those tensions threaten to erupt. Fast forward to the present and the boy, Satish, has become a successful cardiologist, saving lives, respected by those around him. But he is living with a secret. When Satish is asked to take part in a reunion of those involved in that Jubilee photograph, he must confront the truth about that day, and the events that changed the course of his life.
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The story line is not bad, but it is let down by a number of issues, both related to the story and the performance.
The most irritating aspect of the story is the repetition of certain events, despite it being presented from the perspective of different characters. The worst of these is the kiss between Mandy and Shafeez. The thing is that the different characters bring at most two different perspectives. In addition that the jumps in time are not indicated with sufficient clarity. One often wonders whether what is happening is in the present or the past. Narratives also often become unclear as one looses track of who is saying what, not assisted by a performance that does not distinguish the different characters.
Mr Garewal reads the text well enough. However, the different characters are not sufficiently distinguished and everybody sounds the same. I also found the random if brief silences throughout the reading to detract from this audiobook.