On Friday 13th November Antonie stays at home to babysit his 17 month old son, Melvil, whilst his wife, Helene goes out to a concert at the Bataclan Theatre. She does not survive.
This is a memoir of how he coped in the hours and days afterwards, how he is determined to continue living without hatred and bitterness and how we need to change how we deal with tragedy.
It is a painful and heartbreaking yet uplifting read and one that had me in tears at the end of most chapters. As part of his greiving Leiris wrote an open letter to the killers on Facebook and this forms the basis of the book. He covers the evening of the bombing, the search for his wife, the realisation of the truth, how he deals with his 2 year old son and the practically of her death. In a diary format you follow Anoine as he deals with all these issues and it is like you are living the horror with him.
It is a brave read but an even braver book to write. We owe it to Antonie to read it and think about how and why the bombings happened and what part we all played in creating the that gave rise to the people who planted the bomb.