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Growing up in Soviet Russia, Kat Knopman worships her parents, Jewish intellectuals who teach literature at a Moscow school, run a drama club, and dabble in political radicalism. When Kat is diagnosed with rapidly-progressing scoliosis, the trajectory of her life changes and she finds herself at a different institution-- a school-sanatorium for children with spinal ailments. Confined to a brace, surrounded by unsympathetic peers, Kat embarks on a quest to prove that she can be as exceptional as her parents despite her physical limitations, her Jewishness, and her suspicion that her beloved parents are in fact flawed.