Tuesday 12 July 2022




Born in the bohemian seventies, Hannah Sward was abandoned by her mother, and lived with her poet father on an island with no stores or cars. Kidnapped and molested by a stranger at age six, she grew up to be a stripper and a prostitute with a taste for crystal meth—which seemed to be a sure-fire way to lose weight —with stops along the way for silent gurus, sugar daddies, and drinking in the CVS bathroom before therapy sessions. Painstakingly honest, often humorous, Strip is a heartfelt memoir revealing a woman’s journey from innocence to a dark existence, and beyond it to a world of empowerment.

A powerful memoir which made for some tough reading in places.

It's always a reality check when you get to peek behind the curtains into the lives of individuals who had different upbringings from your own, where they weren't at the forefront of their parents concerns, where their needs played second fiddle to the parents selfishness.

Childhood sexual trauma, anxiety, separation, love, grief, an unbreakable bond with a sibling, poor adult choices, substance abuse, getting by anyway you can.

To say I enjoyed this one would be inappropriate or the wrong word choice. It was illuminating reading. I loved the bond the author shared with her sister, unbroken by distance and undiminished by absence. She is remarkably sanguine about her life and there's no real bitterness about events and her journey.  By penning this memoir, I guess the author has in some respects left elements of her past behind and is in happier circumstances, which gives me a large amount of comfort. 

4 from 5 

Read - June, 2022
Published - 2022
Page count - 292
Source - review copy Edelweiss - Above the Treeline
Format - Kindle


  1. It sounds like a powerful, thoughtful read, Col. And I know just what you mean when you say 'enjoy' isn't the right word for a book like this one. I admire the strength of people who are dealt a bad hand (and make mistakes along the way), but find what it takes to make a real life for themselves. Good for the author to keep going.