Battling mental illness and addiction, Katherine's parents are ill-equipped to deal with the trials of raising a family. Their unhappy relationship implodes on Katherine's last day of first grade, and the abuse and neglect characteristic of her childhood worsens as her family descends further into poverty. With her mother deep in the clutches of alcoholism, her father missing, and her two older brothers already in foster care, Katherine steps in to care for her younger sister, despite being a child herself.
When social services later intervenes, Katherine and her sister are placed in foster care in the countryside. Her new home and the stable and caring environment her foster mother provides are a far cry from the life she's always known, yet Katherine's struggles continue. As she approaches adulthood, reeling from her past and battling loneliness, life continues to beat her down with tough choices, staggering betrayals, and various assaults. For a few years, she's able to cope by suppressing her memories and turning to self-harm and addiction. However, when she pawns her most cherished possession, she realizes that she's following in her biological parents' footsteps, tumbling in a downward spiral of self-destruction. Is it too late for her to escape her family's generational inertia?
Katherine's story is one of crippling weakness and breathtaking strength, debilitating self-doubt and defiant determination, self-destruction and healing...and the discovery of what it actually means to be resilient.