The Sound of Gravel

We’re happy to support debut authors, including Ruth Wariner with The Sound of Gravel.

by Ruth Wariner

Quick take

The kind of story that hits you across the face without you even being aware you've been punched.

Why I love it

Growing up in her father's doomsday, polygamist colony in Mexico, Ruth Wariner's childhood feels as foreign to most of us as if she were from Mars. Her mother was her father's fifth wife, and she had countless siblings, both full and halfs. After her father is murdered by his brother in a battle for control of the colony, Ruth's mother marries Lane, a man who already has multiple wives and more ch...

Member thoughts

67% Love
30% Like
2% Dislike
  • Adrian K.

    Anchorage , AK

    "This read like an action novel right from the beginning - except this is someone's real life. They suffered and overcame and SURVIVED. I work at a bookstore and *this* is the book I recommend the most"

  • Wendy F.

    Brighton, MA

    "Horrific experiences, but a great read! "

  • Chelsea S.

    Naperville, IL

    "Wow, this book was so raw & honest. "

  • Karin N.

    Chicago, IL

    "Your heart will break a million times over in this riveting memoir about growing up in a polygamist fundamentalist group. That this woman was able to write this memoir is astounding. One of the best."

  • Sara P.

    Cincinnati , OH

    "Excellent "

  • Mary Ann L.

    Reno, NV

    "This was a fascinating look at a polygamist community and the main character's journey to escape from a suffocating, impoverished, and heart-breaking life-style. "

  • Julia C.

    Pittsburgh, PA

    "This is an incredible story. It shows how unwavering dedication to a belief or religion, as well as trauma, can create a truly horrible environment that people can't escape. "

  • Jill R.

    Woodbury, MN

    "I enjoy reading books about cults and this book was fascinating. It was well written and I was drawn into the story. "

  • Jessica S.

    New Bedford, MA

    "This story has stayed with me for months, loved it so much"

  • Rylan and Julianna B.

    Phoenix, AZ

    "Reality is sometimes more terrifying than fiction! Ruth Wariner knocks this debut memoir out of the park and somehow does it without bashing too many religions on the way!"

  • Robin S.

    Gallatin, TN

    "Loved this book, someone I admire for rising above childhood. The book introduced me to a world I knew nothing about, very thought-provoking."