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The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir by Ruth…

The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir

by Ruth Wariner

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    This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone by Melissa Coleman (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Memoirs of growing up in families led by parents who put principles above their children.

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Disturbing memoir of a woman who was raised in a polygamous LDS sect in Mexico. She described her mother as a 'woman who wanted nothing more than to be loved' while I saw her as a brainwashed woman who subjected her children to her pedophile second husband (not that her first husband was stable - he had visions of the US being destroyed). The fact that she said that he should be 'forgiven' for his sins was enough to make me want to throw the book across the room. I realize that, in the end, the author was a brave woman who made sure that her siblings were safe and is deserving of praise, but part of me wonders if her life as a young, poor, abused child growing up with a group of religious zealots somehow affected her permanently. ( )
  blogbrarian | Jul 16, 2018 |
A heartbreaking story. No one should ever have to live like this. So much abuse and mistreatment. All in the name of religion. Couldn't put it down. The ending of her old life in Mexico was so horrendous I really struggled to find the fortitude to continue reading. ( )
  iadam | Apr 10, 2018 |
I could not put this memoir down. The story of a young girl growing up in polygamy was gripping. It is a look into a lifestyle and loyalties that I cannot understand (and still don't) that you will not be able to forget. ( )
  sbenne3 | Mar 13, 2018 |
I love memoirs and this one piqued my interest and I loved it. I listened to it on audio and it is read by the author which made it even more personal. Ruth Wariner was born into a polygamist family. Her father was murdered when she was just a few months old by his own church members. Her mother remarried another leader in their church and continued to have children. Her family lived mainly in Mexico but moved to the states a few times during various family struggles. They were always poor, living mostly on rice and beans, with no proper bathrooms, and minimal electricity. Visiting her grandparents in California would open her eyes to cartoons, macaroni and cheese, and showers. But, beyond the poverty were the abuse that her mother and Ruth suffered through, the mental illness, her siblings' handicaps. Her story is gripping and heart-breaking. But, you know she makes it out because of the book which makes it easier to get through the devastatingly awful situations she had to survive. It's an eye-opening look into the world of polygamy, poverty, and family loyalty. ( )
  Staciele | Nov 11, 2017 |
Well, this book was upsetting.

I have a sickness for reading sad books, heart-wrenching sagas that make you appreciate your normal, mostly boring life. Most of the polygamist stories I have read have made me want to hug my kids, jump in the car, and start capturing the kids living in Colorado City. This book triggered that for me. I've lived in the Southwestern US for a long time. I've worked with polygamists, and while I don't understand why any woman would be a part of that world, I try to seek to understand. However, the kids are in bad situations, and it makes me so upset to hear their stories. Ruth's family was not the worst, by far, but that isn't saying much. Her step dad was awful, her mother was awful, and I wanted to cry, but I didn't, because I was in public.

This is a time for half stars, and I give this one 3.5. Ruth, glad to see you made it out the other side. You deserve happiness. ( )
  GovMarley | Aug 6, 2017 |
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The 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 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, this is the memoir of one girl's fight for peace and love.--Adapted from book jacket.… (more)

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