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Review: The Sound of Gravel

July 19, 2016

The Sound of Gravel

I am my mother’s fourth child and my father’s thirty-ninth

Thus begins The Sound of Gravel, Ruth Wariner‘s memoir of growing up in Colonia LeBaron, a Mexican town populated by members of the polygamist Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Time. A church founded by her grandfather and later headed by her own father who was killed when Wariner was just three months old.   Wariner’s mother remarried when she was three years old and their family continued to grow.  Wariner’s stepfather wasn’t around that much – he worked odd jobs in the US and had multiple families to visit – and her mother struggled to take care of her family.

Wariner and her mother and siblings returned to the US on a regular basis to collect welfare and visit family and, as Wariner got older, she came to realize not everyone lived the way they did and she began to question her family’s beliefs but didn’t know how to make a better life for herself and her siblings.

I’m not sure why but I’m fascinated with polygamist sects the way some people are with British royalty.  I love memoirs as well, so I thought The Sound of Gravel would be the perfect book for me and, boy, was I right!   I found this book to be tragic and heartbreaking yet I couldn’t put it down.  Things were tough for Wariner growing up but she was scrappy and resilient.  Her childhood was so harrowing, I found myself reading the book with a sense of dread but I had to know how things turned out so I turned the pages as fast as I could.

The Sound of Gravel is the well written account of what it’s like to be a female in a polygamist sect.  Told from the point of view of a young girl, it’s difficult to read at times but it’s ultimately inspiring.  Pick this one up if you enjoy memoirs.

My friend Julie sent me this book.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    July 19, 2016 7:49 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one…it’s been on my radar since the beginning of the year and I might give it a try for Nonfiction Nov. Also – have you read Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven? A good choice if you’re fascinated with polygamists (I kind of am too)!

  2. July 19, 2016 9:27 am

    It does sound like the perfect memoir.

  3. July 19, 2016 10:18 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I don’t read many memoirs, but I might give this a try

  4. July 19, 2016 11:39 am

    Oh, I do love the sound of this one. I am also fascinated by the polygamists, and followed Big Love on HBO when the series was on.

    Thanks for sharing…I like the idea of the female perspective.

  5. July 19, 2016 2:11 pm

    I’m not big on memoirs, but I admit I’m intrigued.

  6. Patty permalink
    July 19, 2016 6:58 pm

    I had a feeling you would love this one!

  7. July 19, 2016 9:03 pm

    I really like alternative lifestyle/cult memoirs too. They’re fascinating and terrifying all at the same time. I will have to look for this one!

  8. July 20, 2016 8:26 am

    Oooooooo, this sounds like a book I would like! Going to look for it. 🙂

  9. July 20, 2016 11:15 am

    I read and reviewed this awhile back. I did enjoy it too, as I like to read memoirs on occasion. It was mind-boggling in some parts, and melancholy in others, but I’m glad I read it.

  10. July 20, 2016 12:00 pm

    I like memoirs but have a hard time with harrowing tales.

  11. July 20, 2016 12:52 pm

    I like memoirs too. I can see how this could break your heart.

  12. bookingmama permalink
    July 22, 2016 6:15 pm

    I don’t read as many memoirs as you do but this was a great one!

  13. July 23, 2016 9:43 am

    OK, I for SURE have to get to this one because I’m just as fascinated by polygamists sects as you are. I hadn’t even heard of it – thanks so much for bringing it to my attention!

  14. July 27, 2016 11:29 pm

    Usually, your reviews about these sects is all I need to know 🙂

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