THE DOWNWARD CLIMB by Mary Banker Harpt


Beyond Survival of Serial Infidelity
Email this review


A memoir of one woman’s healing journey after a traumatic marriage to a serial philanderer.

At 19, Banker Harpt married her high-school sweetheart, Bob. She financially supported him when he went to college, and she went on to have three children with him. Twelve years later, they divorced, but Banker Harpt never told anyone about her husband’s serial infidelity, or about his emotional abuse during the marriage. Many years later, she went on a disastrous date that caused her long-suppressed emotions to explode. Through counseling, prayer and reflection, she eventually worked her way back to wholeness. Banker Harpt’s dedication is nothing short of Herculean in this memoir; she never flinches from raw emotion as she deeply examines her marriage and her ex-husband, as well as the part she played in her own pain and the secrets she kept even from family and friends. She delves into memories that others might be afraid to face, and her reflections show her faith in God and her willingness to fight for her right to “be known.” She bravely reveals how, while married, she gave up her own identity and dreams such as getting a Ph.D. and traveling to Germany. However, the book’s beginning is a bit muddled, and the author devotes large portions of the memoir to her journal excerpts and counseling sessions. Instead, readers may wish that she’d provided more concrete details about her marriage, although she does provide some painfully poignant moments. For example, at one point, she dances with her husband while pregnant, and, right afterward, he dances with his mistress. Although her prayers and reflections add to this memoir’s power, it’s the story that matters most.

An uneven but often engaging memoir about recovery from an unhappy relationship.

Pub Date: Dec. 6th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1478277651
Page count: 268pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:


NonfictionINFIDELITY by Ann Pearlman
by Ann Pearlman
NonfictionWHAT IT USED TO BE LIKE by Maryann Burk Carver
by Maryann Burk Carver
IndieKEEP YOUR PANTS ON by Kelly Chicas
by Kelly Chicas