The story is told by the author, Frank McCourt, in his own, thick accent which pulls you into the story. I have kids and it was very difficult to listen to the family's hardships - especially the first tape. It was heart wrenching. But I still listened and it was compelling. Its a tale of Frank's childhood. His relationship with his father was complex - he reviled him but loved him. His mother did whatever it took to take care of her children. Frank gives a vivid picture of what poverty was like in that time. Despite it being difficult to listen to, I still highly recommend listening to it.