Forgetting Ophelia by Julie Gardner
Friendship & Secrets series, Book 3
Velvet Morning Press (October 8, 2018)
Ever-hopeful Lia thinks she’ll be with handsome, brooding Jake forever. Until one day he completely blindsides her and makes her question everything she knows… Lia Townsend is expecting a ring and a trip to Hawaii for her fifth wedding anniversary. Instead, her husband, Jake, walks out on her. Out of the blue. Devastated, Lia vows to win back Jake and the perfect life they shared.
Because it was perfect, wasn’t it?
But as Lia searches for the truth behind Jake’s departure, the cracks in the shiny varnish begin to show. And once she uncovers his secret, all that she once knew and believed in crumbles.
Lia’s eccentric mother, her best friend, and two vastly different men each pull her in new directions, and Lia attempts to push past the pain and start anew.
But Jake isn’t gone for good. When an accident rocks the lives of their best friends, Lia and Jake are thrown together. Will Lia choose to salvage her old life with the man who broke her heart – or was everything they shared an illusion?
“You were so determined to make things work with us, you became a different person.”
Forgetting Ophelia showcases the downfall of losing yourself to become the perfect person you think your spouse wants/needs. The complex family relationships and friendships are all brilliantly portrayed. It is well written with varied, engaging characters and dialogue. Life threw Lia a curveball, she took time to recover, starts to find herself, and takes the reins of her life back. I felt the ending was perfect as Lia’s future has hope and she continues to grow. This is the first novel I’ve read by Julie Gardner and I’m eager to read her past books.
ARC provided by the author
Reviewed by Comfy Chair Books/Lisa Reigel (September 18, 2018)
Interview with the Author
Where did you get the idea for Forgetting Ophelia?
I have a literal “where” answer to this question! The spark of the idea came to me while I was on the 405 freeway stuck in traffic. I was letting my mind wander and thought about what would happen if a woman who imagined her marriage was perfect suddenly had the rug ripped out from under her.
What will fans of women’s fiction like about Forgetting Ophelia, and what makes the novel stand out in the genre?
I believe a lot of women in their thirties find themselves ignoring their own wishes and desires because they’re busy making others happy: their partners, children, parents, friends. This story is about Lia embracing what she wants and needs, what’s best for her for the first time in her life. The ending presents a launching pad for Lia rather than a neat conclusion.
In the story, Lia’s husband leaves her out of the blue. Do you think Lia really never saw it coming?
I think Lia’s in deep denial at the start of this book and only realizes after the fact that she and Jake aren’t as perfect as she always told herself they were. The Plan is flawed from the beginning, but she never asks herself if she is happy until everything is taken from her.
Is this book part of a series?
Each book can be read as a standalone, but all have ties to the world of friendship and secrets rooted in Conejo Springs:
Book 1: Guest List
Book 2: Letters for Scarlet
Book 3: Forgetting Ophelia
What do you enjoy reading?
Primarily, I love women’s fiction, literary fiction, and memoir. But any time spent reading is a good time!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m a lapsed marathon runner and former high school English teacher who traded in my classroom for a writing nook. The author of Lily by Any Other Name, Letters for Scarlet, and its prequel Guest List, I live in Southern California with my husband, two children, and three dogs. When I’m away from my computer, I can be found with a good book, a glass of wine, or a pair of running shoes. My best days feature all of the above.