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The Sound of Gravel Audiobook

The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir

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Publisher's Summary

"The narration by Wariner compliments the candid nature of her story...A captivating and emotional story delivered in a straightforward way without an ounce of self-pity." (Library Journal)

A riveting, deeply-affecting audiobook memoir of one girl's coming-of-age experiences 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 only ascend to Heaven 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 step-father 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 audiobook resonant with triumph, courage, and resilience.

©2016 Ruth Wariner (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (1237 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lesley A. 01-16-16
    Lesley A. 01-16-16
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    "Unputdownable"

    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!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie United States 01-28-16
    Julie United States 01-28-16 Member Since 2012
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    "I wish this was fiction..."
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon Eagle Santa Cruz, CA 04-17-16
    Shannon Eagle Santa Cruz, CA 04-17-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Chilling"

    So chilling to hear the story from the mouth of the woman who lived and survived this horrible story.... Well written dialogue and attention to detail; it is loving, hopeful and maddeningly tragic..... Can't stop listening, be prepared to binge on it because you have to know what happens next.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie Kay Haering slc, utah 03-03-16
    Melanie Kay Haering slc, utah 03-03-16
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    "Excellent--such a common story among polygamist"
    Would you listen to The Sound of Gravel again? Why?

    No, I would recommend it however


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character Ruth--her perseverance and her voice


    What about Ruth Wariner’s performance did you like?

    Its her own account


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Very insightful and sad at the same time. I'm glad that she escaped with some sense of normalcy

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret 06-27-16
    Margaret 06-27-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Wise portrait in resilience"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gina 05-20-16
    gina 05-20-16 Member Since 2015
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    "the sad truth of polygamy"

    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

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Katarina Kusmack 05-07-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Very insightful"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda 04-29-16
    Brenda 04-29-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Excellent read"

    The author read the book which made this story even better. What Ms Wariner went through was heart breaking but how she survived is inspirational. I listen to books while I walk. I found myself eager to get out for my walk so that I could listen to the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy 03-26-16
    Wendy 03-26-16
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    "Gripping...."

    A real page turner! This compelling story shares the life of the author, born and raised in a polygamist community. Her father was murdered when she was 3, and her mother married an abusing, neglectful man. Ruth's childhood was sapped in the toils of housework, raising her younger siblings and caring for her mother, a woman emotionally crippled by the neglect of her husband. But all was not dire, for Ruth found her way to extricate herself, raised her younger sisters, and completed college. I only wish she had gotten out sooner and filed charges against her abuser.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Heather 03-24-16
    Heather 03-24-16
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    "Powerful reminder to listen to our children"

    Tragic story of what some of our most vulnerable must endure. Resilience and love matter!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Molly James
    1/29/16
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    "Emotinal rollercoaster"

    What an amazing woman and story. Worth a listen, really makes you count your lucky stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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