For centuries, St. Augustine's Confessions has been a central document of Christian culture, in which he gives unique insight into both the turbulent fourth century and his own spiritual conflicts. In 1995, Jostein Gaarder claims to have come upon a copy of a letter to St. Augustine from Floria Aemilia, his longtime concubine, at an antiquarian bookshop in Buenos Aires. A true historical figure, Floria lived with St. Augustine for over a decade, during which time they had a son together. He "renounced" her when he elected to spend the rest of his life abstaining from sensual love, as he went on to describe in his Confessions. From her exile, years later, having read the Confessions and studied philosophy herself, Floria challenges St. Augustine's perspective on man and God, and reminds him of their history together. In some sense a feminist missive, this passionate and occasionally erotic letter challenges the Church's view of women and of love.