The sound of gravel : a memoir / Ruth Wariner.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: Ruth Wariner was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two 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.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: 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.
    • Content Notes:
      The promised land -- Babylon -- Alone -- Breaking.
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      WARINER, R. The sound of gravel : a memoir. [s.l.] : Flatiron Books, 2016. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 23 maio. 2019.
    • AMA:
      Wariner R. The Sound of Gravel : A Memoir. Flatiron Books; 2016. Accessed May 23, 2019.
    • APA:
      Wariner, R. (2016). The sound of gravel : a memoir. Flatiron Books. Retrieved from
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Wariner, Ruth. 2016. The Sound of Gravel : A Memoir. Flatiron Books.
    • Harvard:
      Wariner, R. (2016) The sound of gravel : a memoir. Flatiron Books. Available at: (Accessed: 23 May 2019).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Wariner, R 2016, The sound of gravel : a memoir, Flatiron Books, viewed 23 May 2019, .
    • MLA:
      Wariner, Ruth. The Sound of Gravel : A Memoir. Flatiron Books, 2016. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Wariner, Ruth. The Sound of Gravel : A Memoir. Flatiron Books, 2016.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Wariner R. The sound of gravel : a memoir [Internet]. Flatiron Books; 2016 [cited 2019 May 23]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2015 December #2

Wariner was her father's thirty-ninth child (of 42). Growing up in a polygamous Mormon colony in Mexico, she never thought that life would hold anything more for her than motherhood through marriage with a man who would be supporting several families. As she relates in detail in this haunting memoir, however, her childhood revealed a dark side to the relationships in her own family. For Wariner, life in a polygamous family meant hardship and abuse, which she describes through the heartbreaking perspective of the girl she was. Through experiences such as staying with her grandparents in the States, she slowly learns to expect more from life. Rather than delving into the particulars of the community's beliefs, Wariner reveals them as they arise during otherwise everyday routines, much as a child slowly learns the workings of the world around her. This gives great depth to the portrayal of her situation and to the characterizations of her mother and stepfather. With power and insight, Wariner's tale shows a road to escape from the most confining circumstances. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2016 May #1

Wariner's first book, relating her childhood bouncing between El Paso, TX, and Colonia LeBaron, a polygamist Mormon colony in northern Mexico, depicts the events that led her to flee from the colony at age 15, when she and her older brother smuggled their younger siblings across the U.S. border to escape her neglectful and sexually abusive stepfather. The author's complicated relationship with her late mother; her observations about the inner workings of a polygamist community; and her questions about family, faith, and what it means to be on the right life path take readers on an intense coming-of-age journey. After settling in the United States, Wariner raised three of her younger siblings on her own. Told from the perspective of Wariner as a teen, this account is at turns poignant and tragic; a raw, engrossing chronicle of inner strength and survival. VERDICT This book will appeal to memoir lovers as well as readers interested in polygamist culture or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.—Crystal Goldman, Univ. of California, San Diego Lib.

[Page 88]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PW Reviews 2015 November #4

Wariner is her mother's fourth daughter and her father's 39th child. So begins this intense memoir of growing up in a sect of polygamous Mormons who are striving to build a utopia in the Mexican desert. The men tend the cows and do odd jobs in the States, while the women tend their children and their pregnancies and make regular trips into El Paso to pick up welfare benefits. Wariner's dad is murdered by a rival when the author is three, and her mom replaces him with Lane, whom Wariner comes to abhor. Poverty and jealousy are enormous stressors. Sister-wives fight for resources, and Lane isn't much of a provider. A fight over which wife deserves a new showerhead leads to Lane viciously beating Wariner's mother, and she flees with the kids to her parents' home in California. The author spends blissful months enjoying chocolate ice cream and hot showers before her mother succumbs to Lane's charms and her own convictions and returns the family to the colony. Squalor and child abuse follow, and the family grinds apathetically along until Lane's mismanagement of life brings a final crisis. By age 15, Wariner has had enough. Fed up with hearing "It's God's will" whenever something goes wrong, she rescues herself and then eventually writes this memoir, which condemns using religion to evade moral responsibility. This well-written book is hard to put down and hard to forget. (Jan.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC