Download The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir Audiobook

The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir Audiobook, by Ruth Wariner Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Ruth Wariner Narrator: Ruth Wariner Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2016 ISBN: 9781427268150
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $19.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $15.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

A riveting, deeply-affecting true story of one girl's coming-of-age in a polygamist cult.

Ruth Wariner was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two 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 tale of triumph, courage, and resilience.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “A portrait of real courage in a sea of pretenders. Ruth Wariner, you have my respect as a writer and a survivor.”

    Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author

  • "The narration by Wariner compliments the candid nature of her story...A captivation and emotional story delivered in a straightforward way. Library Journal (Starred Review)

  • This audiobook provides a glimpse of Wariner's childhood of food stamps, abuse, and polygamy as well as courage and family. It's a story that will stick with listeners long after the last word.

  • “That Ruth survived to tell this story simply boggles my mind.”

    Jennifer Lauck, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Wrenching and moving…Wariner is a survivor, but more important, she’s a fantastic writer.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “A haunting harrowing testament to survival.”


  • “An addictive chronicle of a polygamist community”

    New York Magazine

  • “This well-written book is hard to put down and hard to forget.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Engrossingly readable from start to finish…An unsentimental yet wholly moving memoir.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Wariner delivers her eye-opening memoir of growing up in Colonia LeBaron, the polygamist Mormon colony in Mexico. In a steady voice, without missing a beat, she describes her life as the thirty-ninth of Ervil LeBaron’s forty-two children… This audiobook provides a glimpse of Wariner’s childhood of food stamps, abuse, and polygamy as well as courage, and family. It’s a story that will stick with listeners long after the last word.”


  • A Pick for Books You Need to Read This January
  • An AudioFile Editors’ Pick of Memoirs Not to Miss

Listener Reviews

Be the first to write a review about this audiobook!
Write a Review

About the Author

Ruth Wariner lives in Portland, Oregon. After Wariner left Colonia LeBaron, the polygamist Mormon colony where she grew up, she moved to California, where she raised her three youngest sisters. After earning her GED, she put herself through college and graduate school, eventually becoming a high school Spanish teacher. She remains close to her siblings and is happily married. The Sound of Gravel is her first book.