South Manchester Book Group

We're a friendly and open reading group, and we share a love of books and discussing them with other people. We meet every fortnight, but you don't have to come to them all. It's dead simple; choose a book you like the sound of, read it (or even part of it) beforehand and turn up with a few ideas and money for beer / wine / flirtinis. It's very informal, and we're quite a friendly bunch.

We now meet at Ye Olde Cocke on Wilmslow Road in Didsbury around 8 pm. We can usually be found on the table with the books and flirtinis.

If you enjoy talking about books over a quiet drink, then please join us — new members are very welcome.

Our reading list, past, present, and future, appears here and a short version of what we’re reading next is here.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Shuggie Bain — Douglas Stuart

Book cover for Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart Shuggie Bain in the South Manchester, Chorlton, Cheadle, Fallowfield, Burnage, Levenshulme, Heaton Moor, Heaton Mersey, Heaton Norris, Heaton Chapel, Northenden, and Didsbury book group It is 1981. Glasgow is dying and good families must grift to survive. Agnes Bain has always expected more from life. She dreams of greater things: a house with its own front door and a life bought and paid for outright (like her perfect, but false, teeth). But Agnes is abandoned by her philandering husband, and soon she and her three children find themselves trapped in a decimated mining town. As she descends deeper into drink, the children try their best to save her, yet one by one they must abandon her to save themselves. It is her son Shuggie who holds out hope the longest.

Shuggie is different. Fastidious and fussy, he shares his mother’s sense of snobbish propriety. The miners' children pick on him and adults condemn him as no’ right. But Shuggie believes that if he tries his hardest, he can be normal like the other boys and help his mother escape this hopeless place.

This week's book is Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart and we'll not be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury but will be meeting online — contact us for details.