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Publisher's Summary

"The narration by Wariner compliments the candid nature of her story...A captivating and emotional story delivered in a straightforward way without an ounce of self-pity." (Library Journal)

A riveting, deeply-affecting audiobook memoir of one girl's coming-of-age experiences 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 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 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.

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 audiobook resonant with triumph, courage, and resilience.

©2016 Ruth Wariner (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Sound of Gravel

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Very well written/read

I was instantly drawn to this book after listening to the preview. I loved Ruth's honesty and her voice brought the story to life. I felt as though I was there with her, through the happiness and sadness of her experiences. Thank you for sharing your story Ruth.

1 person found this helpful

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What a woman

Such a story. She should be so proud of herself. And her family even more so.

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must read

This is one of the most touching books i’ve ever listened to. The nature in which the author described the events and her feelings towards them resonated with me in a lasting way. I enjoyed every second although sad and sometimes anger inducing, it made me feel many emotions and that I appreciate.

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The Sound of Gravel

Loved the book five stars for every category, sorry the story had to end. Tessa PERERA NSW Australia

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  • Lesley A.
  • 16-01-2016

Unputdownable

The Sound of Gravel is truly a gripping story that has you invested in the storyline and the characters; angry, sad and joyous on their behalves. I LOVED hearing it in Ruth's own voice!

21 people found this helpful

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  • Brenda
  • 29-04-2016

Excellent read

The author read the book which made this story even better. What Ms Wariner went through was heart breaking but how she survived is inspirational. I listen to books while I walk. I found myself eager to get out for my walk so that I could listen to the story.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Melanie Kay Haering
  • 03-03-2016

Excellent--such a common story among polygamist

Would you listen to The Sound of Gravel again? Why?

No, I would recommend it however

Who was your favorite character and why?

The main character Ruth--her perseverance and her voice

What about Ruth Wariner’s performance did you like?

Its her own account

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

Very insightful and sad at the same time. I'm glad that she escaped with some sense of normalcy

11 people found this helpful

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  • Shannon Eagle
  • 17-04-2016

Chilling

So chilling to hear the story from the mouth of the woman who lived and survived this horrible story.... Well written dialogue and attention to detail; it is loving, hopeful and maddeningly tragic..... Can't stop listening, be prepared to binge on it because you have to know what happens next.

8 people found this helpful

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  • gina
  • 20-05-2016

the sad truth of polygamy

Love it . I have been reading a ton of these polygamy book can't understand why these women stay. well I guess I can. fear and brain wash. I wish our government would do more to help these young girls

7 people found this helpful

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  • Lindsay
  • 18-04-2018

Talk about intense

Where does The Sound of Gravel rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book is definitely up there, especially among the memoirs. Ruth's story is so different and had me hooked in from the start!

What did you like best about this story?

What I loved best about the book was Ruth's resilience. Even when everything was as harder than I could have ever imagined, she never gave up. Her story is absolutely inspiring.

What does Ruth Wariner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ruth's narration isn't anything unique, but it is nice to hear her story in her voice.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was in tears when we got to the part where the title of the book makes sense. The story is so emotional and tense and you can't help but be moved along with it.

Any additional comments?

Amazing memoir, but not a light read.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Michelle
  • 08-08-2016

Sometimes the bad guy gets away

Halfway through this book it dawned on me that I was not reading a novel with a made up story and a hero at the end. That no matter what the end, the monsters in this story could still be out there, not caught by a hero or heroine. This is a heartbreaking tale, a type of life still lived by many. I wanted to jump in this book and save the helpless, kick the monsters ass and bring them to justice. Very well written. Would love a part two to this.

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  • Wendy
  • 26-03-2016

Gripping....

A real page turner! This compelling story shares the life of the author, born and raised in a polygamist community. Her father was murdered when she was 3, and her mother married an abusing, neglectful man. Ruth's childhood was sapped in the toils of housework, raising her younger siblings and caring for her mother, a woman emotionally crippled by the neglect of her husband. But all was not dire, for Ruth found her way to extricate herself, raised her younger sisters, and completed college. I only wish she had gotten out sooner and filed charges against her abuser.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer E Lewis
  • 16-01-2016

Amazing!

It's been a long time since a nonfiction book has moved me so much. I am left, literally, speechless. An incredible story.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-09-2018

Narration is the problem

I purchased this book on Audible after reading the many glowing reviews. I have a 2 hour commute to and from work daily and getting lost in a book helps me de-stress after a long day. I could not, however, get past chapter 5. The author narrates her own book. Her voice is so monotone and she reads so rapid fire in places that I just stopped listening. There is zero emotion in her voice that is conveyed to the listener. I found my mind drifting off and having to rewind back to a familiar spot. I feel like I'm back in grammar school and the teacher is asking a fellow student to read aloud. I really wanted to enjoy this book. So disappointing!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Miesha tate
  • 11-06-2020

Good Story, poor narrator

The story was heartfelt and moving but the narration was seriously lacking, almost confusing. The pauses were in the wrong places and the way it was read was uper monotone. That almost made me turn the book off but the story was compelling enough to listen despite being annoyed.

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  • Charlotte
  • 04-05-2020

This memoir will stay with me forever

This wonderful book is both riveting and heartbreaking at the same time. Ruth Wariner has put in to words the harrowing account of growing up in a cult, where the very people who are supposed to protect you, turn a blind eye to the practices of their community.

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  • Molly James
  • 29-01-2016

Emotinal rollercoaster

What an amazing woman and story. Worth a listen, really makes you count your lucky stars.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.