How do we understand faith and prayer, and what of miracles? August 1925 on a Danish farm. Patriarch Borgan has three sons: Mikkel, a good-hearted agnostic whose wife Inger is pregnant, Johannes, who believes he is Jesus, and Anders, young, slight, in love with the tailor's daughter. The fundamentalist sect of the girl's father is anathema to Borgan's traditional Lutheranism; he opposes the marriage until the tailor forbids it, then Borgan's pride demands that it happen. Unexpectedly, Inger, who is the family's sweetness and light, has problems with her pregnancy. The rational doctor arrives, and a long night brings sharp focus to at least four views of faith.