April 8, 2016

The Train Back

The Train Back cover_400Allen Lane: London, 1972 / photo:  ©Robert Golden

Leila co-authored this biography with her friend Pat Chapman. Pat was a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and domestic violence, which was barely mentionable at the time of publication. The book included an Introduction by the Reichian psychotherapist, Dr Robert Ollendorf.

The Train Back is the story of a woman who since childhood has been a perennial victim not only of society but of her family and those who should have loved her. Of her two children, one is an innocent girl toddler, the other a teenage boy accused of murder.

This remarkable book is not a plea or sympathy. It is a journey in self-discovery, a moving expression of individual courage, humour and love in an alien and confusing world. Encouraged by Leila Berg’s friendship and understanding Pat Chapman enters deeper and deeper into her past life, journeying back through childhood until at the end of the book she can, figuratively and actually, discover her lost self and re-encounter her parents.

This is a moving story of a single life. But is is also an original and disturbing social document. It shows how great is the need for the individual to be loved, and the cruelty human beings can, if unconsciously, inflict upon each other.