Antoine Leiris was at home looking after his 17-month-old son when his wife, Hélène, went to the theatre. The date was 13th November 2015. He would never see her alive again. She was one of the 89 people murdered by terrorists at the Bataclan Theatre that night. Three days later, Antoine writes an open letter to the gunmen; you will not have my hate.

Oh my, what an incredibly sad yet beautifully written little book. Antione’s Facebook post went viral when he first posted it, the message of love something people could hold onto in a time of grief and horror.

For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom.

The book covers the night when Antoine couldn’t get hold of Hélène, the dawning realisation something has happened and the frustrations of a little boy who doesn’t know what’s going on and wants his mother. It was so heart-breaking to read of Antoine explaining to him that she wasn’t coming back.

If anyone has a right to be angry it’s Antione. But his testimony shows how hate doesn’t bring anyone back, doesn’t make the world better. He can raise his son with good values and kindness, he can raise him how Helene would have wanted.

Originally written in French, Sam Taylor has done an amazing job of translating into English. It’s an emotional read but an important one in this day and age of using hate as a weapon. Use love and happiness instead.

You Will Not Have My Hate is published by Harvill Secker and is available now in hardback and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones | Hive | Wordery

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.