On her twenty-sixth birthday, Jessica Darling runs into her ex-boyfriend at the airport. When he learns Jessica missed her flight, Marcus fabricates his own travel mishap. Stranded together for 12 hours, they finally sort out their decade long history, without particular emphasis what happened in the three years since she turned down his marriage proposal. “Perfect Fifths,” Megan McCafferty’s fifth novel, is light reading, but it’s also an intelligent, stylized, humorous exploration of the psychology of memory and narrative.
Since McCafferty’s debut “Sloppy Firsts,” the Jessica Darling Series has never been firmly in one genre or directly targeted at a clear audience. The first few books straddled the boundary between young adult and mainstream fiction, and as the protagonist and authorial risks have matured, McCafferty has positioned herself between “chick-lit” and more literary-minded fiction. On appearances and plot summary alone, “Perfect Fifths” seems to fall squarely within the realm of the former, but there is a psychological depth to the light, funny diction that would ordinarily make a novel targeted at young women a “quick read.”