• The Sound of Gravel

  • A Memoir
  • By: Ruth Wariner
  • Narrated by: Ruth Wariner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (4,329 ratings)

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The Sound of Gravel  By  cover art

The Sound of Gravel

By: Ruth Wariner
Narrated by: Ruth Wariner
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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

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

30 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

23 people found this helpful

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Amazing!

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

18 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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

14 people found this helpful

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I wish this was fiction...

Any additional comments?

I have read so many discouraging things about the Mormon religion. This is one more sad story to ad to that list. It is a very good, bad listen. I found myself yelling at so many idiots in this book as it went along. I think the only thing that would have made this telling better, is more about the later years. It seems to have dropped off and ended so abruptly. It does tie up loose ends, but not with much detail.

13 people found this helpful

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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!

11 people found this helpful

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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

9 people found this helpful

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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.

9 people found this helpful

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Better than Ambien

Unbelievably boring. Incredibly slow to develop (does it ever really develop?) and the narration is equally painful. I've had to rewind about a dozen times because there is no plot line to even try and grasp, and my mind incessantly wanders. This stream-of-consciousness, monotone, non-story became, essentially, nothing more than background noise that killed me to sleep.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

great book of one young girls courage

Awesome book which shows how some people live, but also the shows the courage of a young girl wanting what she deserved; a better life for herself. How sad when children are brought into to that sad and degrading type of life specially for girls. How can women what the same damage and horrible lifestyle they have for their own flesh and blood? Love the courage, strength and faith this woman had. Great! Definitely a must.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Miesha tate
  • 06-11-20

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
  • 05-04-20

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
  • 01-29-16

Emotinal rollercoaster

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

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  • Rezz
  • 01-01-17

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-25-22

Powerful story

While I initially found it a bit of a slow start, I persisted and was soon really invested in Ruth’s story. It’s extremely powerful and truthful, and is a no-holds barred account of how living polygamy can negatively impact people, especially women and girls.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer Bowden
  • 08-18-22

Heartbreaking

How a woman cpuld survive so much, and emerge from a background like this, is unimaginable.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-26-22

Exceptional

One of those stories that I couldn't stop listening to. It is truly hard to believe that people live like this.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MerrilyW
  • 02-13-22

a fascinating insight

really enjoyed this book. wow what an amazing real life story. the reader was a bit monotonous but it was ok as it was the author. it still flowed well
she grew up into an amazing woman

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-15-22

Thoughtful, well read

Truly an inspirational story, bravery, and survival after tragedy and loss. A binge read, i could not put it down.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • charlene
  • 09-30-20

What a woman

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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-29-19

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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  • Tessa
  • 02-15-16

The Sound of Gravel

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