BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris, translated by Sam Taylor [in Library Journal]

With elegant control, narrator Gildart Jackson embodies the words of French journalist Antoine Leiris, who bears witness to the murder of his wife, Hélène Muyal-Leiris, one of the victims of the November 13, 2015, terrorist attack at Paris’s Bataclan Theatre. Three days later, Leiris wrote directly to her killers via Facebook: “On Friday evening you stole the life of an exceptional person, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hatred.”

His post went viral, prompting the publication of this memoir less than a year later. Even as he learns to be both mother and father to his 17-month-old child, Leiris faces the everyday reminders of the loss of Hélène’s presence.

His journalist’s training keeps his writing spare but exact, never allowing for a moment of overindulgence. His is a tribute to his beloved’s life, a promise to their precious son, and an indelible declaration against her killers: “For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom.” With hate too easy an option in this current climate of finger-pointing, Leiris’s honorable response to this horrific tragedy becomes a gift of inspiring humanity.

Review: “Audio,” Library Journal, April 15, 2017

Readers: Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2016


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