When Carol Shields died in 2003, one of the finest voices speaking for the luminosity of ordinary human life was silenced. Hearing that voice again in these interviews reminds me once more of Shields' great empathy for and sensitivity to the average person's life journey, a journey she always rendered with kindness, humor, and keen insight in her novels. Wachtel is an excellent interviewer, asking good, focused questions rather than the usual fluff too often encountered in the interview format. She also provides us with a few letters written to her by Shields. If we cannot have another Shields novel, these interviews provide us with something almost as gratifying.