Nancy, Please tells the story of Paul Brawley, a gifted PhD candidate at Yale University. Paul has just moved into an apartment with his pragmatic girlfriend, Jen, and is struggling to complete his dissertation before embarking on a career in academia. There's just one snag: as Paul is unpacking his belongings, he discovers that something has been left behind. A seemingly inconsequential object, but one Paul feels is of great importance to his dissertation and, therefore, to his future: a battered, personally annotated hardcover copy of Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. He will have to retrieve it from his former roommate - the obstinate Nancy. As he becomes increasingly consumed with the retrieval of the book, Paul's relationship and career unravel.