Jio’s latest title is too similar to her last one, Blackberry Winter. Both jump between a modern protagonist working through a recent tragedy and another tragic woman from a half-century earlier with whom the protagonist feels a kinship. Like its predecessor, Morning Glory’s ending also seems rushed and too clean. That being said, readers who haven’t read the previous book will find the story engrossing, thanks to its unlikely setting in a community of houseboats and its melancholy yet hopeful overtones.

After her husband and daughter die in a freak accident, journalist Ada Santorini flees the East Coast to spend the summer on a houseboat in Seattle. She’s quickly welcomed into the community, but soon discovers an old trunk that belonged to Penny Wentworth: a young newlywed who lived on the houseboat 50 years ago and disappeared without a trace. When Ada starts asking questions, her friendly new neighbors clam up, so she uses her journalism skills to solve the mystery. (PLUME, Dec., 304 pp., $15.00)
Reviewed by: 
Leah Hanson