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Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

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Book Description of Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart


Shuggie Bain gives you a glimpse on what life was like for families in Scotland during the 1980s under Thatcher's reign? It follows a young boy named Shuggie as he navigates a tough childhood in run-down public housing in Glasgow.


Shuggie's mom, Agnes, is a complicated woman. She's his whole world, but she's also a major source of stress for him and his siblings. Agnes dreams of a better life, flipping through catalogs and buying things on credit to escape her bleak reality. She tries to maintain her pride with her perfectly styled hair, makeup, and fake teeth, channeling a bit of a Glaswegian Elizabeth Taylor vibe. But beneath the surface, she's struggling with alcoholism, spending most of the family's meager income on booze.


Shuggie's older siblings distance themselves from their mom, leaving him to take care of her as she goes through cycles of drinking and trying to quit. Meanwhile, Shuggie just wants to fit in and be a normal kid, but everyone around him knows he's different. Agnes supports him in her own way, but her addiction casts a shadow over everyone she loves, even Shuggie.


This book is a gut-wrenching look at addiction, sexuality, and the complicated love between a mother and son. It's a raw and honest portrayal of a working-class family rarely seen in fiction.


A Brief Review of Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart


Alright, I know this has been mentioned hundreds of times about this book, but Shuggie Bain is absolutely gut-wrenching. It's written in this incredibly authentic dialect that just sucks you right in. And if you're not convinced it's a true story, just read the first sentence of the acknowledgements – it'll blow your mind.


This book is a raw look at how screwed up families and alcoholism can be, and the toll it takes on the kids who get caught in the middle. The story follows a family in 1980s Glasgow, and it's honestly heartbreaking.


Shuggie, the main character, is one of those characters that just sticks with you. He's so lovable and so real, it's impossible to forget him. This book is a tough read, but it's also powerful and unforgettable.

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