I read this while waiting on line to pick up The Deathly Hallows. It's a quick read. It functions well as a snapshot of life for a housewife in the fifties, with interesting information about the contesting craze. Although it addresses the difficulties caused by the dad's alcoholism and ensuing poverty, it is a very upbeat book. Some might argue that it glosses over darker issues, but the point of the book is to illustrate Evalyn Ryan's determination to keep a positive outlook during a time when the wife of an alcoholic's only recourse was to pray to be a better wife so her husband wouldn't feel the need to drink.