To read or not to read? Shelf Pleasure’s quick take on You Will Not Have My Hate…

Penguin Random House (October 25, 2016)

By: Jackie Kimmel

Writing about a personal tragedy takes courage and a certain level of vulnerability. I applaud Antoine Leiris for being able to write about the loss of his wife immediately after she was killed by terrorists while attending an Eagles of Death Metal concert inside the Bataclan in November of 2015. The book You Will Not Have My Hate details Leiris’ movements from the evening he learns about Hélėne’s death through the next several days as he has to lay his wife to rest. He also navigates the new terrain of being a single father to the couple’s toddler son, Melvil.

This memoir preaches hope in a world of fear and contempt. Leiris’ overall message to those who stole his wife’s life is that he and his son will be grow to be happy and refuse to give in to hate and sadness. Grief is a difficult emotion to manage, but Leiris takes a horrible moment in his life and gives readers a humbling story of survival and resiliency. The heartbreaking circumstances of Hélėne’s death are alleviated by her husband’s efforts to heal with love and kindness in lieu of bitterness and hatred. At a little more than 100 pages, this book is a short read with a heavy message.