This is the unforgettable story of young Hugh Shuggie Bain, a sweet and lonely boy who spends his 1980s childhood in run-down public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Thatchers policies have put husbands and sons out of work, and the citys notorious drugs epidemic is waiting in the wings. Shuggies mother Agnes walks a wayward path: she is Shuggies guiding light but a burden for him and his siblings. She dreams of a house with its own front door while she flicks through the pages of the Freemans catalogue, ordering a little happiness on credit, anything to brighten up her grey life. Married to a philandering taxi-driver husband, Agnes keeps her pride by looking goodher beehive, make-up, and pearly-white false teeth offer a glamourous image of a Glaswegian Elizabeth Taylor. But under the surface, Agnes finds increasing solace in drink, and she drains away the lions share of each weeks benefitsall the family has to live onon cans of extra-strong lager hidden in handbags and poured into tea mugs. Agness older children find their own ways to get a safe distance from their mother, abandoning Shuggie to care for her as she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety. Meanwhile, Shuggie is struggling to somehow become the normal boy he desperately longs to be, but everyone has realized that he is no right, a boy with a secret that all but him can see. Agnes is supportive of her son, but her addiction has the power to eclipse everyone close to hereven her beloved Shuggie. A heartbreaking story of addiction, sexuality, and love, Shuggie Bain is an epic portrayal of a working-class family that is rarely seen in fiction.