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"On Friday night you stole the life of an exceptional person, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hate."
On November 13, 2015, Antoine Leiris' wife, Hélène Muyal-Leiris, was killed by terrorists while attending a rock concert at the Bataclan Theater in Paris, in the deadliest attack on France since World War II. Three days later Leiris wrote an open letter addressed directly to his wife's killers, which he posted on Facebook. He refused to be cowed or to let his 17-month-old son's life be defined by Hélène's murder. He refused to let the killers have their way: "For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom." Instantly that short Facebook post caught fire and was reported on by newspapers and television stations all over the world. In his determination to honor the memory of his wife, he became an international hero to everyone searching desperately for a way to deal with the horror of the Paris attacks and the grim shadow cast today by the threat of terrorism.
Now Leiris tells the full story of his grief and struggle. You Will Not Have My Hate is a remarkable, heartbreaking, and indeed beautiful memoir of how he and his baby son, Melvil, endured in the days and weeks after Hélène's murder. With absolute emotional courage and openness, he somehow finds a way to answer that impossible question: How can I go on? He visits Hélène's body at the morgue, has to tell Melvil that Mommy will not be coming home, and buries the woman he had planned to spend the rest of his life with.
Leiris' grief is terrible, but his love for his family is indomitable. This is the rare and unforgettable testimony of a survivor and a universal message of hope and resilience. Leiris confronts an incomprehensible pain with a humbling generosity and grandeur of spirit. He is a guiding star for us all in these perilous times. His message - hate will be vanquished by love - is eternal.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Pen Name on 02-06-18
Didn’t know what to expect
This is a new experience for many of us - random attacks that take lives of the individuals that are the most innocent. So I am glad to have listened but wasn’t satisfied with the title and the story. Sorry. I believe I was hoping to get more insight to how to deal with these acts of terrorism, not to waste time, energy and emotion on these attacks. I feel that Mr. Leiris has a lot of surpressed anger
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Lindsay S. Nixon on 05-29-17
accurate portrayal of grief, hope. beautiful
Would you consider the audio edition of You Will Not Have My Hate to be better than the print version?
Absolutely, these words should be read to you.
What was one of the most memorable moments of You Will Not Have My Hate?
This section: "Aggravating circumstances are for trials as a way of quantifying loss. But people don't count their tears. and they certainly don't dry them on the sleeves of their anger. Those with no one to blame are alone with their grief. I am one of them. Alone with my son who will soon ask what happened. What would I be telling him if I placed the responsibility for the circumstances on our life at someone else's feet.... "Of course having a culprit, someone to take the brunt of your anger is an open door, a chance to temporarily escape your suffering. And the more oedipus the crime, the more ideal the culprit, the more legitimate your hatred. You think about him in order not to think about yourself. You hate him in order not to hate what is left of your life. you rejoice at his death in order not to smile at those who remain."
Which character – as performed by Gildart Jackson – was your favorite?
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
This is the most beautiful book I have ever read.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful