BkRev#1737. You Will Not Have My Hate. (2016). Antoine Leiris. New York: Penguin Press. $23.00. ISBN: 978-0-735-22211-3.
Mentoring and Advising Center
Georgia Gwinnett College
Panic paralyzed the city of lights the night terrorists attacked the Bataclan and surrounding areas. In the hours after the attack, the vivacious night life of Paris became one of worry and uncertainty. A deafening silence blanketed Paris as the citizens waited to learn the fate of their beloved city and loved ones. Antoine Leiris’ You Will Not Have My Hate is a memoir of his experiences the night of the terrorist attack and his courageous journey through grief, and healing.
In the days after the attack, Antoine uses his gift of writing to come to terms with how he and his 17 month old son are going to survive without their wife and mother. Through his candid prose he bares his soul and generously expresses the terror he felt during the agonizing hours of desperately seeking news of his wife’s wellbeing, and the shock and grief he suffered when he realized he would not be reunited with the love of his life nor his son with his mother. Leiris’ lovingly reflects on his healing process by unfolding the story of his community and the endless containers of soup and support they provided in the aftermath of his wife’s death. Even though he and his son did not ask for support or like the soup, he humbly accepted both because he knew it was what he and his community needed to heal. It was this unsolicited support that comforted him as he refused to give in to anger and hate towards the terrorists who killed his wife.
This quick yet emotional read, may be of interest to academic advisors or anyone mentoring students who are struggling with a tragic personal loss of a loved one. Advisors may use this powerful message of community, resilience, and triumph as a tool to gracefully inspire and guide their students through one of the most difficult times in their lives. Leiris’ used his personal talent of writing as an instrument to start the healing process, advisors and educators may be interested in recommending this book to their students as an inspirational read and reflection exercise to assist students in discovering and using their own talents to find courage and perseverance to go on with their lives.