Sunday, February 05, 2017

You Will Not Have My Hate

Easing into my 12 Books in 2017 challenge I started with one that's been on my list for a few months, not realizing what a short, easy and captivating read this would be.

You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris is personal memoir following the early days of the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.

Antoine's wife was one of the 130 people killed during the attack. Antoine's wife had been attending the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan Theatre, the site of mass terror during the event.

The death left Antoine with his seventeen month year old son, and what unfolds over the book is an emotional reflection on what dealing with this tragedy looked like, specifically through the lens of Antoine as a father who's young son could not be entirely aware of what was lost that day. The book talks about the power and impact that the rhythm of life (bathtime, storytime, feeding) had in those earlier days, as well as the ways other's interacted with their family in some personal, touching, and occasionally comical (such as stories of the daycare mother's providing daily soup for the family to take home).

In many ways, this memoir is so beautiful in the way it captures the human experience in such a poetic and real way. Leiris has a beautiful writing style that is so accessible but also powerful and unique. I was captivated by this quick little book because the ideas in it were raw, human, and touching.

This book is a gift as one man shares his real and heartbreaking story, not to elicit rage, anger, activism, or even compassion, but to connect with the human spirit and share a slight glimpse into what it is like to find goodness in the most tragic of circumstances.
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