40786949Forgetting Ophelia: A Novel

(Friendship & Secrets Book 3)


Julie C. Gardner (Goodreads Author)
 4.5  ·   Rating details ·  12 Ratings  ·  10 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 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?


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forget ophelia

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 with their own trials and tribulations. Lia really does suffer much tragedy throughout, but she is strong. She starts out not really understanding who she is or how to be who she wants to be.

This is the first book by Julie C. Gardner that I have read and I have to say I was thoroughly impressed.  She wrote this book beautifully, capturing deep and true feelings that will reach out and grab you.  It grabbed me from the very first chapter. I could not put it down. I really love a good book with such depth to the story. And this book had it in spades. It was an emotional roller coaster ride. A story of pain, healing and self discovery. Lia’s journey makes for a truly inspiring and amazing read.

5 star




About Julie C. Gardner

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 Facebook Author Page (Julie C. Gardner)

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.

This book is 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!

Thanks for reading!

*Author info, picture and interview credit to Amazon & Goodreads.

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