A young Denver woman leaves her charming, ineffectual father for life in the Big Apple, but finds it's not so easy to shake her past: a first novel -- also charming but rather ineffectual -- from journalist and screenwriter Wright. Life in the Winbourne household has been scattered and often sad since the death of Sarah Winbourne when her daughter, Jay, was only five. In the wake of his wife's death, grief-stricken Jack abandons his promising career as a playwright to devote himself to playing the stock market while Jay struggles to take over her mother's domestic duties. Buy by Jay's 18th year she's grown all too weary of Jack's frequent bouts of depression, his financial losses, and his belief that, in dreaming of an Ivy League education, Jay is setting impossible standards for herself. When Jack's pessimism proves accurate in both their cases -- Jay is turned down by her dream universities, while her father confesses that he's lost her tuition savings on the stock market anyway -- there's nothing for Jay to do but flee to NYC and attempt a new life of her own. As she takes a job as reader to a blind Korean novelist and throws herself into a dangerous first romance, she gradually begins to realize that she's inherited her father's depressive nature. In the end, though, it's the need to stand together against their shared weakness that reunites father and daughter, inspiring them to overcome it and leading to the unexpected (and rather hasty) resolution of all other major and minor dilemmas. Intriguing as this is in its evocation of the depressive's experience, it turns away too often to dwell on Jay's typical coming-of-age travails and never digs quite deep enough to engage. A light gloss, then, over a serious subject.