Durrell's family moves from a rainy, gloomy, expensive Bristol, England in the 1930s to Corfu, where the climate is sunny, an obese cab driver adopts them and gets the family everything they need, from whatever house they need at the time, to the right kinds of food, and people they'll enjoy. Gerald at 10 is by far the youngest, and every once in a while another member of the family remembers he needs to be educated. He thinks he's doing just fine with his books and adventures in the garden and wanderings around the island. Sometimes the tutors found for him are wonderful, sometimes they must be gotten rid of. The Durrells give wonderful parties, but they're not well organized--they may decide to invite 10, but forget to determine who can invite 10. Since they're a family of 5, some of their parties are extremely crowded. Gerald is writing this first of, apparently, 3 in a trilogy, many years later, so his viewpoint is a combination of childhood innocence and old man's wisdom. Much of it is totally hilarious.