Forgetting Ophelia by Julie C. Gardner
Series: Friendship & Secrets #2
Publisher: Velvet Morning Press
Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Genres: Women's Fiction
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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?
Lia (shortened version of Ophelia) is out with her husband, Jake, for their 5th wedding anniversary. She’s excited because he’s promised her a trip – kind of a honeymoon – and a wedding ring, two things that they skipped when they got married in lieu of buying a house. Totally understandable. Unfortunately what Lia gets is Jake telling her how much he loves her and then telling her that he’s leaving her. WTF? Lia is shocked and hurt and can’t understand why this is happening. Jake gives Lia absolutely no idea as to the reasons and takes his bags (that were already packed and stashed under their bed) and leaves.
Lia manages to get through the days and is happy to go to her BFF’s house for Easter and be with friends. When she calls said BFF, Maren, and tells her she’ll be there, Maren hesitates. You see, Maren’s husband is Jake’s BFF and Jake is going to be there for Easter as well. Yippee! He says he wants to explain to them why he left Lia. Too bad he wouldn’t tell Lia! When Jake shows up he introduces Josie. Lia is hearing this from the backyard and enters the house to confront him as she’s shocked that he has another woman already. He apparently doesn’t have another woman, he has a daughter. Excuse me? The man who never wanted children has a daughter? He says that he just found out about her a couple of months prior and he needed to focus all of his attention on Josie. When Lia asks why he couldn’t have told her about the child he tells her it’s because she never wanted kids. What? No, Jake never wanted kids and Lia agreed with him. He didn’t want kids so badly that he had gone out and secretly gotten a vasectomy. Nice guy, right? Not.
So now Lia is alone and trying to figure her shit out, but things just start going badly. It’s supposed to be Lia discovering who she is (because Jake told her that he didn’t know who she was anymore – she just did things to please him and she wasn’t really happy), and what she wants in life.
I know I’m in the minority when I say this, but frankly this book kind of sucked. Jake was a complete and total ass. The things he said to Lia were horrifying in their selfishness (both present and past things he’d said) and she didn’t realize she was getting played? Girl, here’s some money – go buy yourself a clue. How did she put up with him for five years? I have no idea. At one point I wanted to throat punch him and kick him in the balls at the same time, he pissed me off so badly.
This all doesn’t say too much for the heroine of the book. I believe that the story was supposed to be about Lia finding herself, but she never really did. Sure, she moved along when shit happened (like her house burning down) but find herself? No. She changed jobs to try to make herself happy but I never saw the growth, never saw the pivotal moment when she said to herself, “Oh, shit! I get it now!” None of that.
By the end of the book Lia is trying to move on with her life and it even insinuated that she might start a relationship with one of the two men who appear in the story. I saw failure down the line. I saw Lia doing the same thing she did with Jake and losing herself. I think 6 months of flopping around and not knowing your own mind doesn’t make you ready to start a new relationship. In fact, Mandie decided that if the author had done an epilogue it would have been better. Show us Lia a couple of years later and happy in her life. Then the guy shows up and they can start anew. That would have been a more believable time to think she’d start a relationship. This would have been a better ending, but it wouldn’t have made the book any better.
This is a book about growing and becoming who you want to be. Unfortunately the heroine never actually did that. She stayed stagnant and just moved to a new location. I can’t say that I recommend this book as I actually didn’t like it very much at all. I did give it 2 stars, but I think I upped it by a star because I finished it, IDK.
Rating: 2 out of 5