What a powerful message this little book portraits!
Paris, France, 2015. Antoine Leiris is at home and his baby asleep in the next room, while his wife attends a concert at the Bataclan Theatre. A happy family, a couple in love, two parents in love with their baby and then it is an instant and bum, it is all gone, Antoine is a widower and the baby orphan of mother. A terrorist attack happens and nothing will ever be the same again.
In the week following the horror, Antoine writes an open letter to his wife's killers, letter which is the core of this short diary he writes to express his grief and his struggles.
“So no, I will not give you the satisfaction of hating you. You want it, but to respond to hatred with anger would be to give in to the same ignorance that made you what you are.”
It is very difficult to review a book of this kind, because it is not a novel, it is a very personal autobiographic diary, it is a man that writes about himself. It is not fiction, it is a real horror which, unfortunately, could happen or touch closely any of us. And as a journalist, this is the way Antoine Leiris has found to somehow urge the world that hate is not the right answer to terrorism, that hate generates hate.
"You would like me to be scared, for me to look at my fellow citizens with a suspicious eye, for me to sacrifice my liberty for my security. You have lost."
A very powerful message to terrorism: you will not have my hate, even if you killed my wife and the mother of my son, you do not deserve my hate; violence cannot be fought with hate. Personally, I admire his courage in expressing his emotions in such a public way. I do not think I could have done it. But I am sure that his little boy will appreciate reading this memory once older.
Overall rating: 6,5 Plot: NA Writing style: 6,5 Cover: 8
Title: You will not have my hate
Author: Antoine Leiris
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication year: 2016