A Rubber Face with a Stripper's Name

Non-Fiction - Womens
238 Pages
Reviewed on 07/16/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

A memoir that brilliantly explores women’s issues, A Rubber Face with a Stripper's Name by Katja Berg is both hilarious and utterly touching, a tale of motherhood, womanhood, and family, laced with powerful lessons for self-growth and parenting. The first shock was getting pregnant. The second was knowing it is twins. The third was having to raise the kids as a single mother, and “This is especially true for the single mum who gets left to bring up the kids, who ends up judged in the court of public opinion for not abiding by societal norms.” Follow her story as she struggles to save her flower shop, a business she started from nothing, pay bills, and put food on the table. What is it that made her stand tall, survive, and not be overwhelmed by despair, living away from her native Denmark? The answers are very touching and inspiring.

I was able to relate to many of the emotions the author shared and I am happy she could include so many lessons in her story. Here is a book that starts with the author hitting rock bottom at the moment she dreaded - receiving “brown envelopes; the sure sign of a debt collector, ‘DO NOT IGNORE’ printed on the front in red writing.” The reader encounters a woman who wakes up with only one certainty: kids staring at her, expectantly. But then, if roses have thorns, weeds have flowers. It is interesting that she started writing during the darkest period of her life. In a prose that is crisp and exciting, she shares lessons from her personal journey and invites readers to find emotional strength in family, to prioritize self-care, and to believe in their power to transform their lives. A Rubber Face with a Stripper's Name is utterly humorous and the author has a peculiar style of writing that combines with her fine perception of reality to entertain readers. Every single mother should read this book. I couldn’t put it down.

Edith Wairimu

Katja Berg’s A Rubber Face with a Stripper's Name is an incredibly inspirational memoir about life as a single parent, the struggles, the victories and the moments in between. It is told from a single mom’s perspective as Berg allows us to walk in her footsteps and see the world through her eyes. She knows the pain of divorce, the crushing effect of financial woes, and the heartbreak that comes with rejection from friends whom she had known for years. While Katja Berg is hurt many times, her strength to pick up the broken pieces and move on is remarkable. Her parents’ support throughout her tough times is also admirable. Ultimately, this is the story of a mother’s love for her children embedded with the importance of sisterhood amidst fearsome turmoil.

On the cover of A Rubber Face with a Stripper's Name is an alluring image that grabbed my attention and pulled me right in. The memoir is captivating, to say the least. It contains a lot of raw emotions that add an appealing layer. Katja Berg builds a powerful foundation right from the beginning as she describes her childhood vividly. The events happen chronologically which makes it very easy to follow. A Rubber Face with a Stripper's Name is for all fans of memoirs, but most of all it is for the single moms seeking inspiration or strength to carry on. This well-written memoir will prove to you that you are not alone and someone out there understands what you are going through.

Justine Reyes

A Rubber Face with a Stripper's Name is a memoir by Katja Berg. At the beginning of her memoir, Berg briefly recounts her upbringing in Denmark and how great an impact their culture had on her as a young child. At the age of nineteen, she moves to London and instantly falls in love with the city. At this point in her life, Berg seems to be living in an enchanted world full of adventure and some mischief. Of course, as her life progresses, things become complicated, especially when she meets and falls in love with a man named Casper. Katja and Casper move in together and establish a personal and professional relationship. However, when Katja becomes pregnant things start to change.

One thing I want to highlight about A Rubber Face with a Stripper's Name is how well it is constructed. A lot of memoirs stray away from their genre and into the autobiographical territory, but Berg stays consistent and because of this her writing felt alive. Within the pages of this memoir, I read about Berg's life and how she overcame her struggles, but at the end of it I found myself reflecting on the importance of parents and the importance of having a support system, especially when you live a hectic life. I could not stop reading because of how vivid and intense Berg's writing is. A Rubber Face with a Stripper's Name is a thought-provoking and moving novel that both women and men should read to better understand the struggles of love, life, and parenthood.

Lesley Jones

When Katja was growing up between the Copenhagen Zoo and the Carlsberg brewery, she never for one moment expected to become a single mother of twins. Follow the life and times of Katja as she grows up in Denmark and travels to London to become a successful florist. Katja meets Casper and the no-strings relationship is soon given a kick into serious when she discovers she is pregnant. When Magnus and Pepper are born, Casper’s selfish and womanizing ways go from awful to unbearable. Katja not only has to deal with mounting debts and an unsupportive and cheating partner, but a nagging self-doubt that she is not the perfect mother everyone else around her seems to be. Katja is just about surviving when the recession hits, forcing her to make drastic and life-changing decisions. This heartwarming journey of self-discovery will tug at your heartstrings and make you laugh out loud too. Katja is pushed to her limits and then some, but will this lioness find her voice and roar?

A Rubber Face with a Stripper's Name by Katja Berg is a well-written and brutally frank memoir of a ‘real’ woman faced with single motherhood. I related to everything in this book, all the little details such as the brown envelopes arriving through the mail and gaining self-confidence by watching others worse off than yourself on television. I admired Katja’s tireless battle against the useless, womanizing Casper and I kept hoping she would realize that her inner strength could defeat anyone who tried to break her. This book should be read by every single mother who lives with a daily dose of self-doubt that their best will never be good enough. Katja proves that to be a single parent requires stamina, resilience, plus emotional and mental strength. A memoir that will evoke different emotions throughout, including some very funny moments. Katja is a true warrior.

Ray Simmons

A Rubber Face with a Stripper’s Name is a great memoir. Katja Berg has a great “voice” and a good writing style. I especially enjoyed reading about her life growing up in Denmark. I compared it to my own experiences growing up in Alabama and I found her memories of her childhood thoughtful, insightful, and compelling. These are very different experiences than those I had, but I found her conclusions about childhood, teachers, and parents strikingly similar. Rich in detail and keen observations, A Rubber Face with a Stripper’s Name will make you laugh and cry. But most of all, it will make you think. That is what any good book, especially a memoir, is supposed to do.

As a memoir, A Rubber Face with a Stripper’s Name has no plot as such. But it does have a theme and this theme resonates throughout the novel. Katja Berg writes well. She writes in her own unique voice and I enjoyed reading about her life and her thoughts about the people, places, triumphs and defeats, as she goes through each phase of her life. Her thoughts about being a single mom are especially powerful and I felt how male privilege has benefited my own life as a single dad. Things I have often been praised for, she did as a matter of course with little or no praise, and even less support. I enjoyed reading about her life and I feel many other readers, male and female, will enjoy it too.