My Summary: The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir, is the story of one girl’s struggles, trials, and joys while growing up in a Fundamental Mormon community in northern Mexico. Told from first person POV, Ruth Wariner gives an insider’s view into her childhood as a child of a polygamist family.
My Thoughts: Polygamy, the marriage of one man to multiple women, has been in the media a lot over the last decade. From shows like “Sister Wives”, “Big Love”, and “My Five Wives” we have been allowed a small glimpse into the lives of this secretive sect of America. Polygamists, often Fundamental Mormons, a separation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, believe a man is required, by God, to marry multiple wives, in order to bear many children. Some of these men have dozens of wives and more than 50 children, of which he biologically fathered.
Having been interested in Fundamental Mormonism for many years – not as someone who wishes to convert, but more like someone who is driven by curiosity to study the lives of other cultures and religions – I found this book very intriguing. I was instantly drawn into Ruth’s life story. From the roots of her family’s beginnings in the church to the dynamics of her life with her siblings and parents, I found her story absolutely riveting. Within the first few lines of her memoir she had the ability to captivate me in a way that left me longing for answers. This book brought me through so many emotions: love, anger, sadness, regret, heartbreak… and by the end I found myself in tears from this roller coaster she has known as her life.
I would highly recommend this Memoir to anyone who is interested in the Fundamental Mormon lifestyle, or to anyone who loves a wonderful story of astounding courage and bravery.