Skip to main content

The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir - Audiobook Bets On...

The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir - Audiobook

written and read by Ruth Wariner

January 2016

I listened to THE SOUND OF GRAVEL by Ruth Wariner on audio, and I already know it is a story that I will not forget any time soon. It’s a gripping memoir, read by the author, about her life growing up in a family of polygamists. She is the 39th of her father’s 42 children; her father was killed by his brother in a struggle for power in their church, leaving her young mother, Cathy, with four young children. Cathy is then chosen as the second wife of Lane, and she goes on to have six more children with him.

Ruth grew up in abject poverty in rural Mexico, living for a long time without power or plumbing. With her stepdad unable to support the family (he eventually had four wives), her mom transported the children to Texas each month to collect welfare money and food stamps.

The story is heartbreaking and heroic, which is an unlikely combo. Telling the story now as a woman in her early 40s, Ruth remembers tiny details and huge facts, all of which make this an incredibly moving read. Her perception skills, even as a young child, and her resiliency are ones that kept me listening even when the story was enormously sad. None of the adults in “the colony” are role models. Instead, Ruth watches as they lie and abuse, couching their behavior in the name of religion.

At some point, Ruth begins to doubt this way of life and does what she must to protect her young siblings and give them a better life in the States. I cried listening to the Epilogue as Ruth prepares to celebrate her own wedding. I was happy that she found joy, and at the same time I loved hearing her talk about her other family members and where they are today.

Book clubs will love it the way they related to THE GLASS CASTLE. I would love to meet Ruth Wariner, give her a hug and thank her for reminding me of what is important in life. She recognized many of these things as a young child as she shouldered burdens way beyond her years. Be forewarned. If you start listening, the cadence of Ruth’s reading will hold you captive.

The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir - Audiobook
written and read by Ruth Wariner

  • Publication Date: January 5, 2016
  • Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction
  • Audio: pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • ISBN-10: 1427268142
  • ISBN-13: 9781427268143