What is the matter with me, I wonder. Why am I always the one who watches? Judith Gill lives with her husband, son, and daughter in a nice house in the suburbs of Ontario. She has carved out a niche as a respected biographer. Her universe is shaped and bounded by the lives around her, from her family to the subjects of her books. She finds herself in the background of her life, but she hungers to tell stories of her own. In this witty, nuanced novel about art, life, love, and fiction, Carol Shields reveals Judith to listeners and to herself - a woman with bold emotions, powerful instincts, and a knack for observing the small ceremonies that give our lives meaning.