A riveting, deeply affecting true story of one girl's coming of age in a polygamist cult.
Ruth Wariner was the 39th of her father's 42 children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turned a blind eye to the practices of her community, Ruth lives in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity. At church, preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world and that women can ascend to heaven only by entering into polygamous marriages and giving birth to as many children as possible. After Ruth's father - the man who had been the founding prophet of the colony - is brutally murdered by his brother in a bid for church power, her mother remarries, becoming the second wife of another faithful congregant. In need of government assistance and supplemental income, Ruth and her siblings are carted back and forth between Mexico and the United States, where her mother collects welfare and her stepfather works a variety of odd jobs.
Ruth comes to love the time she spends in the States, realizing that perhaps the community into which she was born is not the right one for her. As Ruth begins to doubt her family's beliefs and question her mother's choices, she struggles to balance her fierce love for her siblings with her determination to forge a better life for herself. Recounted from the innocent and hopeful perspective of a child, The Sound of Gravel is the remarkable true story of a girl fighting for peace and love. This is an intimate, gripping tale of triumph, courage, and resilience.
©2016 Ruth Wariner (P)2016 Macmillan Audio
I have read so many discouraging things about the Mormon religion. This is one more sad story to ad to that list. It is a very good, bad listen. I found myself yelling at so many idiots in this book as it went along. I think the only thing that would have made this telling better, is more about the later years. It seems to have dropped off and ended so abruptly. It does tie up loose ends, but not with much detail.
No, I would recommend it however
The main character Ruth--her perseverance and her voice
Its her own account
Very insightful and sad at the same time. I'm glad that she escaped with some sense of normalcy
The Sound of Gravel is truly a gripping story that has you invested in the storyline and the characters; angry, sad and joyous on their behalves. I LOVED hearing it in Ruth's own voice!
Awesome book which shows how some people live, but also the shows the courage of a young girl wanting what she deserved; a better life for herself. How sad when children are brought into to that sad and degrading type of life specially for girls. How can women what the same damage and horrible lifestyle they have for their own flesh and blood? Love the courage, strength and faith this woman had. Great! Definitely a must.
I've read a bunch of memoirs and books about people who lived in polygamy. This one is a little different. The author is the daughter of a charismatic leader, but he dies when she's small and she grows up with her mother and her new step father in the remnants of the Mexican polygamist community founded by her father. Unlike a lot of polygamist cults, there doesn't seem to be an all-powerful leader at the head of this one, so the parents and the children have quite a bit of freedom to travel, associate with their non-polygamist family members, dress the way they want, etc. This partly saves the author's future, I think - she had a close and healthy relationship with her loving Mormon, non-polygamist grandparents.
She deals with two difficult situations growing up. The first is the abject poverty, malnutrition, and downright unsafe conditions of her home. Her parents simply do not take responsibility for this. The second is the advances she receiveds from her stepfather, which are actually "dealt" with by her mother and others, but not satisfactorily. Ultimately, as in so many polygamist stories, it's her relationship with her siblings and her personal gumption and self-reliance (which poverty and neglect force her to develop) that create a brighter future for her.
The audio version is slightly impaired because Ruth Wariner reads it herself, and she's an ok but not spectacular reader. This is forgivable because, after all, it's her story.
Love it . I have been reading a ton of these polygamy book can't understand why these women stay. well I guess I can. fear and brain wash. I wish our government would do more to help these young girls
Amazing true story! Tough stuff but gripping and fascinating and lends insight into polygamy and the human strength and spirit to survive and care for loved ones. Wow! The author is a true, strong survivor! She should be enormously proud of surviving, saving and caring so much for her family.
Definitely helped me open my mind to other religions. If I ran a Sunday school program or religious book club for adults, we'd read this book. It shows that adults should listen to their children too and think about them.
What an amazing woman and story. Worth a listen, really makes you count your lucky stars.
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