This novel presents the story of Rebecca Nachman, a Rabbi without a synagogue. Having resigned from her dwindling congregation, she now works as a counselor at a small Vermont college, advising students about private matters and offering the "Jewish perspective" at faculty dinner parties.
Deeply lonely and on the edge of losing her faith, she comes into possession of a Torah, the last relic of Czechowa, a village of Polish Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis. With the Torah, the unquiet spirits of the village dead begin to visit Rebecca. On one visit they leave a manuscript written in Hebrew and titled My Life, an autobiography by God—who, like any eager author, is seeking a sympathetic reader. No one has ever finished reading the manuscript, including Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Maimonides, and Augustine. God thinks Rebecca will.
Our heroine's life is further complicated when one of her advisees—a troubled young woman who seemed on the verge of confessing something—is found murdered. As the college struggles to comprehend the tragedy and a police investigation is launched, Rebecca begins reading the manuscript, and so comes to confront the central challenge to her faith in His most troubling and unlikely incarnation.