The Sound of Gravel
The Sound of Gravel is Ruth Wariner's unforgettable and deeply moving story of growing up in a polygamist Mormon doomsday community. The thirty-ninth of her father's forty-one children, Ruth is raised on a farm in the hills of Mexico, where polygamy is practiced without fear of legal persecution. There, Ruth's family lives in a home without indoor plumbing or electricity and attends a church where preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world. 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 father works a variety of odd jobs. Ruth comes to love the time she spends in the States, realising that perhaps the belief system into which she was born is not the one for her. As she enters her teen years, she becomes a victim of abuse in a community in which opposition toward men is tantamount to arguing with God. Finally, and only after devastating tragedy, Ruth finds an opportunity to escape. Recounted from the innocent and hopeful perspective of a child, The Sound of Gravel is the remarkable true story of a girl forced to define a place for herself within a community of misguided believers. This is a gripping tale of triumph, courage, resilience, and love.
Ruth Wariner lives in Portland, Oregon. At the age of fifteen, Wariner left Colonia LeBaron, the polygamist Mormon colony where she grew up, and moved to California. She raised her three youngest sisters in California and Oregon. After earning her GED, she put herself through college and graduate school, eventually becoming a high school Spanish teacher. She remains close to her siblings and is happily married. The Sound of Gravel is her first book.