The Black Leather Satchel
Author: Paula Czech
Date Published: 00 , 0000
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Paula Czech’s “ The Black Leather Satchel,’ is her memoir of childhood sexual abuse juxtaposed with the beauty of nature, a background of normalcy and within a culture of denial. Family, friends, and classmates never suspected the heart-wrenching experiences of this brave young girl and later courageous woman. You will want to cry, laugh and cheer as you read about her experiences. The numerous black and white photos enhance her story and give the reader an additional window into her life.
Child sexual abuse takes a terrible toll on children and the adults they eventually become. Czech’s story is a mesmerizing and spellbinding account of one of those victims. It includes an educational section at the end of the book to further shed light on the dynamics of child sexual abuse.
I lived a few houses from Paula and never suspected she was being abused, she presented as a good student who had recently moved to our small town. I left Charlestown in my freshman year and did not encounter Paula again until my senior year. She continued to maintain her secret and masquerade as a normal, studious and goal driven student.
Now, more than fifty years later the world has changed and the topic of child abuse is in the headlines daily. Paula has bloomed during these many decades into a multi-faceted woman. Her perseverance and healing show that people can escape and rise up from adversity even if some scars remain. I applaud Paula for writing this expose of her life and her commitment to helping eradicate this behavior from society.
This is a compelling first-person account of Paula’s life as a child exposed to physical, sexual and psychological abuse. “The Black Leather Satchel,” is a fascinating read, and Paula tells it well and bravely.
Born in Connecticut, raised in Vermont and New Hampshire, Paula Czech returned to the Green Mountain State as an adult to find the peace that had escaped her as a child. In between she became a registered nurse by attending the NH Hospital School of Nursing in Concord, NH. Later she attended the SUNY Empire State College in Albany, NY. where she graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Mental Health. Her nursing career spanned fifty years from a staff nurse to management, and included acute care, long term care, home health, mental health, infection control, and utilization management. She married and ultimately experienced her happiest moment with the birth of her son. Presently in retirement she enjoys family, friends, writing, her Rag Doll cat, "Buffy" and an occasional horseback ride. Paula Czech considers her advocacy work for victims of sexual abuse to be her most important mission.