Book Review: You Will Not Have My Hate – Antoine Leiris

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“You want me to be scared, to see my fellow citizens through suspicious eyes, to sacrifice my freedom for security. You have failed. I will not change.”

In December 2015, Antoine kissed his wife goodbye before she went out for an evening of music with friends while he stayed at home and cared for their young son. She loved music, in fact the couple met at a concert. A few hours later gunmen opened fire on the Bataclan in a horrific terrorist attack. She didn’t survive. This is Antoine’s heartfelt response to the loss of his wife, to the responsibility of raising a son alone and to those who wanted to help but didn’t know how.

I personally requested this book when I knew it was available on Netgalley, I was going to read it regardless because I had heard of the beauty of his words. Antoine first wrote a Facebook post to family and friends in the aftermath of the attack. This is an outpouring of his grief, as he tries to piece his and his sons lives back together. The book has a poetic quality to it, as a reader I was confronted with both the beauty of the words on the page, as well as the pain that radiates through them.

From the ashes of tragedy rises a phoenix of hope. The book is so much more than just a heartfelt message of hope and defiance in a lyrical and heartbreaking form. This, at its heart, is a love story, between Antoine and his wife, lost in the horrific terrorist attack on the Bataclan. Antoine recounts his struggles as he faces a life raising his their son alone, to explain that his Mummy isn’t coming home. While short, this is a prominent piece of work. You Will Not Have My Hate shows the love, hope and resilience that is needed to show those who did this they will not win, they will not have our hate.

Let me know what you think!

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