There are many people who have lived very difficult lives and/or in great poverty. The father in it is an alcoholic and the mother very immature. I don't understand the degree that this book was liked. It's an okay book but not a great book. Angela's Ashes is a great book that details a harrowing upbringing with an alcoholic father and terrible poverty yet it is humorous and uplifting as well as being sad. The Glass Castle simply isn't uplifting.