The Canary family turn the terms "marginal" and "disfunctional" inside out. Every member of this family has severe physical and/or emotional and/or psycological problems. Yet, they still enjoy a rich family life that, in many ways, is defined by love, loyalty and devotion. And this fact is the underpining of this book and, probably, society at large. For while they suffer mightily, they do so, largely, together and, in remaining together, forge the bonds that ultimately allow them to survive and, in some ways, flourish.
This is a rich, deeply spiritual book in many ways, though the prose can, and often does, take on a coarse, often vulgar character--again, a lot like life itself.
In the end, the books is a study of the difference between happiness and contentment in working through the difficulties of life.
I heartily recommend the book. One is well warned, however, that at times the coarseness of the manuscript can be unsettling.