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Forgetting Ophelia

(Friendship & Secrets #2)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  134 ratings  ·  63 reviews
#1 Amazon Best-Selling Author

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
Kindle Edition, 283 pages
Published October 8th 2018 by Velvet Morning Press
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  134 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
What happens when well laid plans go awry? That idea and more was explored in the reading of Forgetting Ophelia. What I truly enjoyed about this book was at the start of the story I thought that Lia had her life in hand, that she was modern woman who was knew herself well. Which was true, except that Lia had never had cause to explore more than her day to day life until the day everything fell apart. When Jake ended things the way he did, he was such a coward, it shattered Lia. Even though it wa ...more
Robin Bielman
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this emotional story about love, loss, friendship, and a woman's journey to truly finding herself. Julie's writing pulls out all the feels and her characters remain with me long after I've finished the book. ...more
Jena Henry
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Do you like rollercoasters- that feeling of being strapped in a runaway car, screaming down hills and swerving around sharp corners? I do, too! This women’s fiction novel is an exhilarating shocker for the first few chapters; something wild and unexpected appears around every curve.

Thirty-five year old Lia, short for Ophelia, tells us her story in the first person. When we first meet her, she sounds almost manic as she prepares herself for a special trip with her husband, to celebrate their fiv
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
FORGETTING OPHELIA by Julie C. Gardner is a compelling and almost hypnotic tale of love, friendship, and being forced to confront who you really are when you least expect it.

Lia is happily married to Jake, living by the beach, and happily following 'The Plan' that Jake had come up with when they first got together. But when Jake pulls the rug out from under her and tells her on their anniversary that he is leaving her, Lia is crushed and completely in shock. Just what is happening and why is he
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lia had everything. A husband, friends, a bungalow on the beach, and a great job. Then the night of her anniversary and birthday it all comes crashing down. After her husband leaves her, she is left to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Devastated and alone, Lia begins her long and tough road to healing. This road is full of potholes and many obstacles. But it is a road she must travel alone.

The characters of this story were well developed and deep. No character had a small part. Each wit
Apr 21, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cheating
Colossal waste of time.
Janina Rossiter
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A total addiction. I couldn’t put this book down! Absolutely loved it. It’s a very sweet story about Lia (Ophelia), a woman in her thirties, who has to figure out what she really wants in life. Would love to read a sequel. Well written and lovely characters. Highly recommended. I received a review copy for my honest opinion.
Laura Furuta
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Forgetting Ophelia: A Novel
By: Julie C, Gardner
5 out of 5 stars

The story Forgetting Ophelia: A Novel by Julie C. Gardner is an amazing book that I loved reading. It hooked me in from the very beginning and I didn’t want to put it down until I had read the final page. It tells a story about heartbreak and betrayal however it also has parts where there is hope. I loved the character of Lia. She is a woman who has a handsome husband and a teaching job that she excels at. She is a beautiful woman wh
Angela Amman
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes the secrets we tell ourselves are the ones that hurt us the most. While all couples make plans, Lia and Jake have The Plan, a guideline for how their marriage will work. When Jake’s interpretation of a major anniversary leaves Lia reeling, she needs to figure out for herself how sound The Plan really was—and if she even cares to put it all back together again.

Women in so many stages of their lives will be able to relate to Lia as she struggles to put her life back together after Jake l
Shell Roush
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-books
I was sent an advanced copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.

I have long read Julie C Gardner, since her blogger days. She’s always had such a way with words, such a flow to her stories that makes me want to keep reading.

Her latest is my favorite from her. Her characters are very real: flawed in the way all people are, but not to the point of being exaggerated- just real folks.

I haven’t read a story like this in a while. Books about 35 year old women tend to follow certain ste
InD'tale Magazine

A contemporary romance that feels like a "slice of life" tale, “Forgetting Ophelia” is the third book in the Friendship & Secrets series but can be read as a stand-alone tale.

Read full review in the 2018 Oct issue of InD'tale Magazine.

May 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
Note to me........ Don't read again, it was too slow. ...more
Oct 17, 2020 rated it liked it
This author can really string words together. The pace was a little leisurely, but the author was true to her heroine's journey. ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“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 per
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow
Tightly woven stories of overcoming losses to emerge stronger and more grounded

Forgetting Ophelia is the first book I've read by Julie Gardner, but it won't be my last.

I ignored the family movie and ready for 3 hours straight when I was in the "good part" .... that didn't seem to end. This book has it all. Rich, realistic characters, a solid storyline full of family, friends, self reflection, and those all too human emotions of betrayal, fidelity, honesty, and learning to be true to yourself.

Forgetting Ophelia: A Novel (Friendship & Secrets #2) by Julie C. Gardner was a okay, emotional rollercoaster of a read, that had a sweet yet opened ended ending, that was, for me, satisfying.

My first read by this author, and for this series, though this is a series the books can be read as standalones. For my first time with this author I was impressed with the excellent writing and the nicely timed flashback scenes. It gave you a feel for how Jake and Lia grew and how you can see where things
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

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
R Huiszoon
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Julie C. Gardner, ‘Forgetting Ophelia’.

As a Hidden Gem ARC reader I received this book for free. And promised an honest review. Here it is.

English isn’t my first language. Sorry for errors.

Rating: 5 stars (of 5).

In general: Lia discovers herself after an unsexpected break-up.

The main character is Lia Townsend or Lia Lark. Lia is the the daughter of Regina Lark, an old hippie. Father unknown. Lia likes her mother but cannot have a normal conversation with her mother for she has completely other v
Charlotte Lynn
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Ophelia, or Lia, is telling the reader her story. The story of her 35th birthday and 5th wedding anniversary coming up and the excitement of the engagement ring and trip her husband is going to give her. Then everything changed, nothing went as planned, her life blew up in front of her eyes. Everything and everyone she thought she knew she now doubted. She doubted every decision she made, every person she came in contact with, and her entire life. I was never a Lia fan. She was indecisive, she r ...more
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Forgetting Ophelia is a wonderful novel by Julie C. Gardner. It tells the story of Lia, a young woman whose life is turned upside down by a series of sudden and unexpected events.
I really liked that, although there is romance in the book, the focus is much more on a variety of relationships including friendships and parent/child relationships. With a fairly large cast of characters, we get so many different relationships explored. It’s fascinating, and often moving.
Forgetting Ophelia is about ch
Karyn Taylor
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Forgetting Ophelia is the 2nd book in the Friendships and Secrets series by Julie C. Gardner. Each book in the series is a stand-alone. This was my first time reading any of this author’s work and I was pleasantly surprised by this book.
The book begins on Ophelia’s (Lia) birthday and 5th wedding anniversary. What was expected to be a night of celebrating turned into a nightmare for Lia as her beloved husband Jake announced that he was leaving her. The rest of the book takes us on Lia’s journey
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My absolute favorite type of novels are the ones that make me feel as if I am living amongst the characters myself, fully immersive. ‘Forgetting Ophelia’ did just exactly that. This is one emotional roller coaster ride. I would have your tissues ready, and a cozy blanket, maybe clear your schedule for a few hours. If you are like me you won’t want to put down this amazing book until you finish the very last page.

Ophelia, or Lia, had it all. She followed the plan to get her to this moment, her f
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Forgetting Ophelia: A Novel by Julie C. Gardner

5 Stars

This is my first book by this author and I completely fell in love with it. The storyline although something I hope I never have to understand aside from reading about it was awesome and the writing style had me at word one.

This had a mixture of all the feels, I smiled, I even laughed a bit here and there, it had sadness, confusion, and my favorite determination. This author took me on a journey through watching your life get totally turned u
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Though the topic of this book can be viewed as sad, our heroine Lia, is one character you don’t want to miss out on. When her life implodes, she is forced to pick up the pieces and find a way to live her life again. I find this story to be inspiring. Lia gives hope to the hopeless about moving on when your life has fundamentally changed forever. Lia is a flawed woman who actually bothers to reflect on her life and choices and see where she made mistakes to learn from them, which I think takes a ...more
Jenni Bishop
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Forgetting Ophelia: A Novel by Julie C. Gardner is an interesting story about a woman who is finding herself after her life is turned upside down. Trouble is, I am not entirely sure she knew what that looked like. It is a story about secrets and denial, loss and new beginnings and finding yourself. The story started out slow but gained momentum quickly. It was also an emotional read and I felt all of Lia’s pain and suffering, betrayal and loss, yes I needed tissues. As much as the story annoyed ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

I am giving this book 3 stars, though that rating was a difficult decision. I liked the story and was fully invested in the book, but I couldn’t stand the main character. I saw no development from Lia and hated her whining and running from everything.

Her “husband” leaves her on her birthday and their 5th anniversary and it breaks her. I get it. She was destroyed and needed some time to get her life back together. B
Reads A-Lot
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
At 35, Lia has wondered if it was too late to adopt. Not that she seriously wanted kids, because she was overall satisfied with her life with Jake. Until recently, she and Jake have always been in synch, but lately it just seems that she has been second in his life. He's not following The Plan. Then, like a punch in the guy, Jake announces that he's leaving her.

Story has a slow start, then it progresses with Lia's ponderings of her recent separation and her life amidst the company of pedestrian
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Forgetting Ophelia: A Novel (Friendships & Secrets, #2)
By Julie C. Gardner
4 stars

Forgetting Ophelia is a beautifully written story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I haven’t read anything by this author previously but I really enjoyed her engaging and relaxed writing style. I really liked Lia; I connected with her straight away and felt for her as she tried to adjust to the unexpected changed in her life. I admired her strength as she began to rebuild her life. I think I kind of wanted to hate Jake fo
Samantha March
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love books that feel real. Books that feature messy lives and imperfect characters and difficult situations. Forgetting Ophelia offered all of that. Lia was such an interesting character to follow, and there were plenty of secondary characters that helped shape this story into the great read it was. I felt personally invested in the story from the beginning, and through all the twists and turns. Like I said, I love books that feel real – that don’t offer a snap your fingers and everything is s ...more
Angelina Frazzini
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Forgetting Ophelia by Julie C. Gardner is a standalone novel but can be tied to the Friendship and Secrets Series. This book grabbed my attention and didn’t let go until the end!

Lia is married to the best guy and now that it’s almost their five year anniversary, they can finally put their plan in motion. Lia was expecting a surprise but she got more than she bargained for. After she’s had some time to evaluate the situation, she realizes that she doesn’t know who Lia is anymore. Lia is tested a
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Julie C. Gardner is a former English teacher and lapsed marathon runner who traded in the classroom for a writing nook. Now she rarely changes out of her pajamas. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two children and three dogs.

To find out more about Julie and her upcoming books, visit or follow her on Twitter (@juliecgardner), Instagram (@juliecgardner), and her F

Other books in the series

Friendship & Secrets (3 books)
  • Guest List (Friendship & Secrets, #.5)
  • Letters for Scarlet (Friendship & Secrets, #1)

News & Interviews

  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
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