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.
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I wish this was fiction...
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.
- Jennifer E Lewis