Love Lives Here
By Amanda Jette Knox
Kind of a review
I don’t do many reviews on here. In the early days I did one on my favourite movie and to a degree the new Ghostbusters movie. However my site went in a different direction. However after reading Love lives here I felt compelled to write about it. Not only because of how much I enjoyed it but also because of how I related to it. As such this is not just a review but a post on what this book means to me and how it has affected my own life.
The main thing about the book is that it is a page turner. I love reading. I started at an early age and use to spend hours reading novels. I loved studying. However in later years, with distractions such as multi-channel TV and laptops I have slowed down on the reading front.
However when I got this book I couldn’t wait to read on and on. It gripped me from one chapter to the next. Having followed Amanda on Twitter for quite some time as well as reading her own blog, I was well aware of the story that was unfolding on the pages before me. That didn’t make it any less interesting. For those not in the know, the book tells the story of Amanda’s family, dealing first with her daughter coming out as transgender and then her wife and the effects it has had on them.
For those in the know then reading this in the book will be no surprise but there are a lot of intimate details. We get the story how both Amanda and her wife Zoe grew up before meeting and getting married. We get to know Amanda’s inner most thoughts, not only with the drama unfolding in her family but also with her own demons. There is a simple honesty with the story being told here and it shines out through the entire book.
As I mentioned there is some things in this book I really related to. Not only with Zoe’s experiences but also with Amanda’s. How she was always someone who tried to please everyone in a way to be liked by them is exactly the same as me. With my low self-esteem it is something I realised late in life and I’m still struggle to control. Knowing that I’m not the only one like this and that the behaviour can be changed was good. Likewise her tenacity to keep on writing her blog, to use media platforms to help the LGTB community and her basic rule to simply live life through love has reenergised me to carry on with my own little contributions. The way that she deals with negatives things that crosses her path with love and understanding without compromising or taking any nonsense is amazing and a lesson to be learned. In short Amanda Knox’s has become another role model for me. Oh and look, once again it’s a woman and a real person (see Role Models encore). I find myself wondering did she find writing this book therapeutic in any way, as I did when writing A Girl’s Night Out. A book I’m even more determined to get published.
Amanda’s wife, Zoe also resonated with me. She was around my age when she transitioned and looking at the photos of her and seeing how beautiful she looks has helped with some of my fears of whether it’s too late for me. Also the love and support she received from friends, family and co-workers was amazing. Having posted some of my own revelations and photos on Facebook recently and having positive feedback has encouraged me even more so to explore and come out as myself more publicly. There is another outcome to her coming out that I have started noticing with myself. That afterwards her personality changed, more positive and relaxed with who she is. Since owning my bi-sexuality and my more feminine side I have found myself caring less about what people think of me. Finding myself freer in expressing myself but also an inner happiness inside me. I can actually feel it. A swelling up in my chest. A happiness and satisfaction with my life that I haven’t got close to since university five years ago. A feeling I thought may never come again.
But back to the book itself. Amanda writes with a nice pace blending emotions and humour throughout the book with ease. In particular pages 107, 225 and the final page triggered my emotions. And if you want to know what those instances were I suggest you go and buy the book. The last sixty pages flew by in one reading. It was getting late but I just had to carry on. And then I stopped on the final chapter and put the book down. I didn’t want it to finish. I was loving the unfolding story and if I read that last chapter it was finished. I wanted to hold out that anticipation a little longer. To prolong the story just a bit more. Hopefully there will be more from Amanda sometime in the future. As for Love Lives Here, all I can say is that it left me filled with hope and love. It rightly deserves its place as a best seller and I’d recommend this to anyone to read. Hopefully it may even change a few closed minds out there.