5/5 Stars Possible spoilers in this review Triggers: childhood sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, child neglect
The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner is a memoir that was published in 2015 and takes us through the horrors that Ruth and her family suffered while members of The Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times, a mormon fundamentalist polygamy colony in LeBaron, Mexico. Ruth Warner is the daughter of the founder of the church, but, when Ruth was just a few months old, her father was shot and killed by men hired by his brother to kill him. Kathy, Ruth’s Mom, remarried Lane, a dead beat pedophile who’s neglect and manipulation rained down on Ruth’s Mom and family for years.
I’m currently on vacation and today was a down day for me and this book was absolutely riveting, I couldn’t put it down and finished it tonight. The trauma this author, and many of her siblings went through was actually astonishing. What was the saddest fact in this book is the fact Ruth was being sexually assaulted by her stepfather and was told by her mother and other women in the community to just forgive her step father, yet, no one actually did anything about it until it was revealed that Lane was sexually assaulting Ruth’s brother, who has intellectual disabilities.
My overall review of this book is 5 stars for the engaging writing style and the storytelling aspect of this book. While I’m sure there are big fact that are correct in the story, I’m pretty certain there had to be some patchwork here and there. This author is amazing for sharing this awful, harrowing story. She’s overcome many obstacles including a huge educational hurdle since she did not finish high school, and yet she achieved college and a graduate degree. This family suffered a lot and sadly, Kathy had 3 children with either medical or intellectual issues and Kathy was not equipped to manage these problems her children had. So many things fell on Ruth, the 2nd oldest girl and it was quite sad.