Saturday, November 17, 2018

Review: The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner

Title: The Sound of Gravel
Author: Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Year Published: 2015


Genre: Adult non-fiction (memoir)
Pages: 336
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2018 Google Reading map)USA (CA, TX) and Mexico

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): The thirty-ninth of her father's forty-two children, Ruth Wariner grew up in a polygamist family on a farm in rural Mexico. In The Sound of Gravel, she offers an unforgettable portrait of the violence that threatened her community, her family's fierce sense of loyalty, and her own unshakeable belief in the possibility of a better life. An intimate, gripping tale of triumph and courage, The Sound of Gravel is a heart-stopping true story.

Review: I find these sorts of stories fascinating, in part because they are so distant and far from my own. While Wariner's story is devastating, frustrating, inspiring, and interesting, I had a difficult time believing the detail with which she tells the story of her life at age five, six, and seven. How can she possibly remember the details? How can she even remember some of the bigger events? And the dialogue? There is just no way.

All of that being said, I liked this book. It's one of those stories where you want to shake her mom and yell "Get out of this relationship! What are you doing to your children?!" How can women stay when they are neglected, producing babies, have no support, and live in utter poverty by choice. Oh yeah, it's kinda not by choice. She has a baby almost every year, has no education, and no money. And not much choice. Her mom truly believed in the polygamist lifestyle and doing whatever the husband tells you to do even if you know it isn't right. Even has horrible things happen it's because God has a plan. It's difficult to walk away when that's how you truly believe.

Throughout this book I wanted Ruth to escape and live with her grandparents in California. She seemed to the be the one who could do it, even though, as the oldest capable daughter, she was responsible for her six younger siblings. At every turn she seems to be blocked, it's amazing that she came out of all of it at the other end with an education and a career. Unfortunately, I think tragedy is what allowed her to get out.

Challenges for which this counts: 

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