Forgetting Ophelia: A Novel, is the second book in the Friendships & Secrets Series by Julie C. Gardner. It is a women’s fiction story- full of love, loss, denial, secrets, truth, new beginnings, finding yourself, choices, friendship, and emotion. This is my first book by Ms. Gardner, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect- but after finishing it I am happy that I took a chance and grabbed it when it showed up on my feed. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more of Ms. Gardner’s work in future.
Jake and Lia lived a perfect life… didn’t they? Surely she’d know if it wasn’t, right? So, imagine her shock when instead of embarking on a trip to Hawaii for their 5th wedding anniversary, Jake up and leaves her. What happened to burst their perfect bubble? What can she do to win him back?
But as the story unfolds, Lia begins to see that things weren’t as perfect as she’d hoped they were. Secrets are revealed, which bring her house of cards tumbling down around her. Starting over wasn’t part of the ‘plan’, but here she is trying to do exactly that. Add her Zany mother, her bestie, and two new guys into this mix, and the story gets interesting.
The story was a little bit slow to get going, but after a few chapters the paced picked up and the story took flight. The characters were all fully realised individuals, and the growth and development was really good- as the Lia we see at the end of the book is quite different form the Lia we met in the beginning.
Lia really lost her own identity over the years, taking on Jake’s expectations and ideas as her own. She also suffered from denial, in a big way. So, this story really has a large component of losing one’s self, realization, and ‘self-(re)discovery’.
Ms. Gardner weaves a great story, and I look forward to seeing what she does next.
Thank-you, Ms. Gardner!
Reviewed by @angelahayes