Our narrator is the youngest student at the Conservatory. She produces a sound from the piano no one else does, employing a special technique she learned from her parents - also stunningly talented musicians - who fled China in the wake of the Cultural Revolution. But when an accident leaves her parents debilitated, she abandons her future as a pianist and accepts a job at a high-end beauty and wellness store in New York City. Holistik is known for its remarkable products and outrageous procedures: remoras that suck cheap Botox from the body, eyelash extensions made of spider silk, emotional support ducklings bred to imprint on their owners. Every product is ethically sourced and made with nothing but the highest quality ingredients. Our narrator's new job is a coveted one among New York's beauty-obsessed, and it affords her entry into a new world of privilege. She becomes transfixed by Helen - a model, and the niece of Holistik's charismatic owner - and the two strike up a close frie
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