A Review Of Shuggie Bain

April 3, 2024
Diana Noteva

Sofia, Bulgaria

Class of 2026

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Shuggie Bain is the debut novel of the Scottish author, Douglas Stuart. We follow the story of Shuggie and his mother, Agnes, as they navigate through life in 1980s Glasgow.

In the beginning, we see the world mostly through the eyes of Agnes, Shuggie´s mother, but as we go, we start seeing less of her and more of Shuggie´s perspective.

I think it perfectly reflects how conscious of the world they are at that moment. Shuggie is introduced as a young child who knows nothing about the world, but throughout the book, he learns, and by the time it's over, he is smarter, more mature, and fully capable of taking care of himself.

Agnes' case is the polar opposite. When we first meet her, she's just starting to lose her connection with the world. As the story goes on, her condition gets worse, and even though she did improve at one point, it wasn't long before she went down her previous path.

I loved the way the characters were portrayed. We witness Agnes do bad things, but her actions make her a human, not a villain. No one is perfect, so seeing a character whose faults don't demonize them was like a breath of fresh air.

The character of Shuggie was flawlessly presented as well, especially in his relationship with his mother. He loves her even when it causes him a massive amount of pain, proving that there is no bond stronger than between a mother and her child.

Diana is a BBG from Bulgaria and enjoys movies, books, and philanthropy.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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