Who was this young woman, Hope wonders, to come pushing into her life, reading it back to her from her studious sheets of printout? It is spring 2001, and in central Vermont the 78-year-old painter Hope Chafetz is being interviewed by a young New Yorker, Kathryn. In her answers, Hope leads us through the triumphant story of postwar American art and through the story of her life as Hope Ouderkirk, Hope McCoy, Hope Holloway and, finally, Hope Chafetz. And in the evolving relationship between interviewer and interviewee, the two women move in and out of the roles of daughter and mother, therapist and patient, predator and prey. In this, his 54th book, Updike has shown himself once again to be a master of description, character and insight. This is a brilliant novel from an incomparable writer.