The Sound of Gravel - Ruth Wariner

The Sound of Gravel

By Ruth Wariner

  • Release Date: 2016-01-05
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 5
From 241 Ratings


A riveting, deeply affecting true story of one girl’s coming-of-age in a polygamist family.

RUTH WARINER was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turn 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 Ruth’s 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 she 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 memoir of one girl’s fight for peace and love. This is an intimate, gripping tale of triumph, courage, and resilience.


  • Could not put this book down

    By Normajean73
    I love this book. Despite it being heart wrenching at times, it also gives you hope. I want to give Ruthie and all her siblings a big hug. Thank you for your openness and honesty. Bless you and your family!
  • The Sound of Gravel

    By Kat8286
    One of THE best books I've ever read! I'm so amazed by the authors strength throughout her life and how she has overcome such pain. I will recommend to anyone and everyone. Thank you for writing this book.
  • The Sound of Gravel

    By Lanerhamm
    This book is well written. I am so sorry that these children were forced to live such a wretched childhood with little education and no future unless they left their "Church". Why do some adults blame God for their lacks when they won't do for themselves. Scamming welfare costs everyone. Shame on both the husbands and wives. There are still unfortunate children growing up in polygamous families in the United States. Blessings to Ruthie for taking care of her siblings and helping them to become caring adults.
  • A page turner. Riveting, disturbing... Truthful.

    By infinityblade lover
    Well written. Honest account of life in a contrived polygamist community. Ruthie is someone you root for. She never disappoints. Her mother is painfully manipulated and weighted down by an oppressive, cultish man who terrorizes her and her children. Triumph comes after much pain and suffering. Ruthie becomes the heroine you find faith and comfort in. Such a great read. So sad that this is a true story. But, so glad it had a happy ending.
  • Incredible Story

    By MeriNW
    I am just blown away by Ruth's determination, resilience, courage, loyalty to her family, and her love - and her writing skills! Growing up as I did in the mainstream Mormon Church, I only heard faint stories of the "other Mormons," the polygamists who never stopped believing in Joseph Smith's principle of Celestial Marriage, as he originally defined it to be plural marriage between one man and multiple wives. I am the descendant of polygamists, prior to The Manifesto - the so-called convenient revelation that stopped new polygamist unions from being sanctioned in the LDS Church. It is a delicate subject in mainstream Mormonism. With the Internet, the carefully crafted re-writes of Mormon history are being exposed and people are leaving the religion in droves, after being able to research on their computers in the privacy of their own homes. The truth is being discovered in polygamist communities too - via the media and the Internet. The arrest and conviction of Warren Jeffs has turned Short Creek/Colorado City in Southern Utah inside out and more and more, people are discovering the lies that have kept them and their forebears tied to Smith's edic. Ruth Warner is unique in that she figured out herself without outside intervention the rotten core of the polygamist lifestyle that hides physical and sexual abuse of women and children, and some men and boys too. And she escaped, not only herself, but she took her family out with her. She is a person of honor. I am so grateful she wrote this book. It is her testament of what she experienced, as well as the story of her success in overcoming so many odds against her and her siblings. I highly recommend this book!
  • Gripping memoir

    By Meem1519
    What an honest, heart-wrenching memoir. Told beautifully through Ruth's eyes, following her as a child into her adulthood. Her story is shocking and unbelievably gripping. Congratulations Ruth, on everything you have overcome and accomplished so far in your life.
  • Sound of Gravel

    By Pool player12341
    Great book. Very sad and eye opening. Well written
  • The Sound of Gravel

    By Carole art
    A compelling, riveting, passionate story. Once I began reading, I could not stop. Ruth's first book is powerful testament to logic over mysticism and the strength of character and love of one human being.
  • Amazing

    By Kolapaw
    This is a page turner! Well written and incredible. Many of the people in the author's life are easy to dislike and hate, yet she helps the reader to see all aspects of the individuals. Many times while reading, I forgot it was a true story. Fiction is not nearly as fascinating. Its also nice to have a happy ending.
  • The Sound of Gravel

    By Wake-Up Call
    This biography was so fascinating that I did not want the story to end!