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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 Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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!

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michelle
  • Indian Trail, NC, United States
  • 08-08-16

Sometimes the bad guy gets away

Halfway through this book it dawned on me that I was not reading a novel with a made up story and a hero at the end. That no matter what the end, the monsters in this story could still be out there, not caught by a hero or heroine. This is a heartbreaking tale, a type of life still lived by many. I wanted to jump in this book and save the helpless, kick the monsters ass and bring them to justice. Very well written. Would love a part two to this.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing!

It's been a long time since a nonfiction book has moved me so much. I am left, literally, speechless. An incredible story.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lindsay
  • Denver, CO, United States
  • 04-18-18

Talk about intense

Where does The Sound of Gravel rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book is definitely up there, especially among the memoirs. Ruth's story is so different and had me hooked in from the start!

What did you like best about this story?

What I loved best about the book was Ruth's resilience. Even when everything was as harder than I could have ever imagined, she never gave up. Her story is absolutely inspiring.

What does Ruth Wariner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ruth's narration isn't anything unique, but it is nice to hear her story in her voice.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was in tears when we got to the part where the title of the book makes sense. The story is so emotional and tense and you can't help but be moved along with it.

Any additional comments?

Amazing memoir, but not a light read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

great book of one young girls courage

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Molly James
  • 01-29-16

Emotinal rollercoaster

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

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  • Rezz
  • 01-01-17

Very well written/read

I was instantly drawn to this book after listening to the preview. I loved Ruth's honesty and her voice brought the story to life. I felt as though I was there with her, through the happiness and sadness of her experiences. Thank you for sharing your story Ruth.

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  • Tessa
  • 02-15-16

The Sound of Gravel

Loved the book five stars for every category, sorry the story had to end. Tessa PERERA NSW Australia