What Freedom Smells Like by Amy Lewis
Amy Lewis’ memoir What Freedom Smells Like is an unrestrained and unapologetic story of a life. Amy’s honest and open writing style is refreshing, reminding us that life should be deeply felt, even if those feelings are not pleasant. Amy introduces her story by talking about the difficult journey that she took when she was in her early twenties. During this period of her life she spends time in a mental hospital, battles with an addiction to self-harm, and has troublingly low self-esteem. As she is recovering, Amy decides to attend Berkeley for her undergraduate degree. It is here that Amy meets Truth Lewis, a man whose passion sweeps her away and allows her to take large steps in healing the pieces of herself that have been broken. As her relationship with Truth grows, many of his weaknesses are revealed and he is no longer the man that Amy thought he was. As Truth begins to crush Amy with his possessiveness, his distrust, and his physical abuse, all of the work that Amy had done on bettering herself is unravelled. As Amy loses herself in her unconditional love of Truth, she fights a battle to open her eyes and see the truth about what is happening to her.
While Amy’s journey can seem extreme to some, the lessons that she learns both about herself and about life as a whole, are lessons that everyone can benefit from. Throughout her journey, Amy comes to realize the importance of cherishing, loving, and being able to depend on only one person: herself. What Freedom Smells Like is a work that encourages us all to take a step back and look at ourselves, to see if there are things that we can change so that we too can grow in our enjoyment and appreciation of life.
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