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The Sound of Gravel
The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir | Ruth Wariner
The Sound of Gravel is Ruth Wariner's unforgettable and deeply moving story of growing up in a polygamist Mormon doomsday community. The thirty-ninth of her father's forty-one children, Ruth is raised on a farm in the hills of Mexico, where polygamy is practiced without fear of legal persecution. There, Ruth's family lives in a home without indoor plumbing or electricity and attends a church where preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world. 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 father works a variety of odd jobs. Ruth comes to love the time she spends in the States, realising that perhaps the belief system into which she was born is not the one for her. As she enters her teen years, she becomes a victim of abuse in a community in which opposition toward men is tantamount to arguing with God. Finally, and only after devastating tragedy, Ruth finds an opportunity to escape. Recounted from the innocent and hopeful perspective of a child, The Sound of Gravel is the remarkable true story of a girl forced to define a place for herself within a community of misguided believers. This is a gripping tale of triumph, courage, resilience, and love.
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booklover3258
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Pickpick

My review of this book can be found on my YouTube Vlog at:

https://youtu.be/nR6XCHE9TvM

Enjoy!

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abookishbutterfly
Pickpick

I‘ll admit that much of what she experienced did not shock me. I wish it had. But I know what ordinary monsters are capable of and I know how viciously religion can be weaponized. It infuriated me, nonetheless. These were her personal experiences and there was so much within them to claw away at the heart.

My full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3685160121

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elviralynn84
Pickpick

Fascinating, gripping, heartbreaking. A story of courage and survival.

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Coleen
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Pickpick

As has been said in other reviews, anger was the dominant emotion I felt throughout. Time and time again in stories of polygamy, it‘s the males dominating and brainwashing the females. While I feel anger at the men, it‘s the women who make me esp. angry, for allowing this to happen. Fortunately, the author of this book was able to escape and tell her story. I liked the audio, but the author‘s voice was too much of a monotone for this story.

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Eggs
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Listened to this last week. I felt so much #anger on behalf of Ruth and her tragic upbringing and her great losses. And #anger toward her cruel and deranged stepfather, as well as all the ‘religious‘ men who control and abuse and impregnate the women and girls...#conflictedworlds @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

Michael_Gee Yes. Anger was a dominant emotion when I listened to this one as well. 1y
Eggs @Michael_Gee 😔🙌🏻 1y
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ShelleyBooksie
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Pickpick

This was a hard read. What the author went through as a child is really hard to read at times. People that enjoyed Educated may like this one as well- they have the same vibe.

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rather_be_reading
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Pickpick

Wow! Just heartbreaking throughout. I wanted a tad more about her adult life but maybe she will write another book. She had such a sad, hard life during her youth. I wont spoil it anymore than that.

LibrarianBanana Such a heart wrenching story but oh so perfectly told. There are a couple of other books written by Ruth's half/step siblings. 2y
rather_be_reading @LibrarianBanana yes u have those saved! 2y
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rather_be_reading
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IamIamIam 230?! Wow, great job!!!! 2y
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CaitlinByTheBook
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Pickpick

Wow, this book was amazing. Heartbreaking and compelling. After a few chapters, I was hooked and didn‘t want to put it down. The writing is beautiful. The author is incredibly brave to tell this story. If you enjoy memoir, this one is a must read. Recommended by Laura Tremaine of the 10 Things to Tell You podcast.
TW: polygamy, child abuse.

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Librarylady
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Pickpick

I‘ve had this book sitting on my shelf for years and despite being told it was similar to Educated by Tara Westover and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls (books I loved), I still didn‘t feel compelled to pick it up. Once I did finally crack it open, I couldn‘t put it down. Ruth‘s story is heartbreaking - and yet still hopeful. If you love a good memoir, this is one you shouldn‘t miss.

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Macnjen
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Pickpick

Fast, well told accounting of the author's growing up in a polygamist family in/out of Mexico. Terrible situation but worth the read; fast paced. I would have liked one chapter on the history of the LeBarons coming to Mexico in a little more detail. I don't want to say I “liked“ it because the story is too sad to enjoy but I'm glad I read it and so glad she was such a brave girl. Abuse triggers.

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Cinsarly
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Pickpick

Fascinating sad memoir. I wouldn't recommend it if you have unhealed trauma in your past. This is a remarkable story of survival and escape from a mormon fundamentalist sect in Mexico. The epilogue ends on a hopeful note, but most of the story depicts in haunting images/scenes the ways in which faith, love, abuse, and family loyalty can be entwined. Definitely not a light read, but worth the time if you're in a solid emotional place.

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kimmypete1
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Pickpick

Absolutely heartbreaking. I can‘t even begin to imagine what it‘s like to lead this kind of life. It‘s a tough read at times. I felt like the ending was a little rushed, I wanted to know more about the “after” and it‘s just a short epilogue. #BookClubBook

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Eggbeater
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Mehso-so

This is a difficult read. I can't say that I "liked" it, but it was an important story for the author to tell. I would have liked to have learned more about her healing process and her success later in life. Escaping a terrible childhood is never the end of the story, there is the aftermath of trauma and learning to cope as an adult in a different world. How a person survived afterwards is just as important as what they went through.

TW for abuse

Scochrane26 I always want to know the full story, too, esp because I work with kids who‘ve been through trauma. One thing I liked about A Child Called It when I read it a long time ago is that he wrote follow ups about his positive adult life. 3y
53 likes1 comment
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kimmypete1
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#ThoughtfulThursday @MoonWitch94

🟡 So far so good. :) I was going to do a Whole30 but I‘m not (it‘s complicated to explain, but it doesn‘t work for my condition) so instead I‘m working on cutting back sugar and overall healthy eating.
🟡 The Sound of Gravel for book club, Echoes Between Us and Asking for a Friend.
🟡 @maich

MoonWitch94 Thanks for playing ☺️ 3y
maich Thanks for the tag😊 3y
10 likes2 comments
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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

While the ending is a little abrupt, I was pretty drawn into this memoir of growing up in the LeBaron Mormon cult in Mexico. It was enraging at times (okay, maybe most of the time?), deeply saddening most of the time, and slightly hopeful because Ruth was able to get out and help save her surviving siblings. Read for #bookclub. Book 4 of the year. #audibook.

vkois88 I read this one recently too! It was indeed very heartbreaking 98% of the time, but her story of survival was so hopeful to so many others in the same situation. I surely don‘t think I could have made through any of it the way she did! 3y
MidnightBookGirl @vkois88 Ditto! There is a 100% chance I wouldn't have made it to my teens in her same situation! 3y
55 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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MidnightBookGirl
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Listening to this now for book club later this month. Reminds me a bit or Educated. #audiobook #bookclub

ChaoticMissAdventures It is so shocking to think of how many children are raised this way. I am glad they are able to get their stories out and heard. 3y
MidnightBookGirl @ChaoticMissAdventures I agree! Her cousin wrote a book too, which would make a good follow up read. 3y
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stuck.in.the.stacks
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Today on the blog we are celebrating another Themed Thursday with Haley's favorite books that involve cults in some form.

Check out her selections and let us know about your favorite cult stories!

https://stuckinthestacks.com/2019/12/12/themed-thursdays-the-twelve-days-of-cult...

#bookrecommendations #bookblogger #bookbloggerhub #bookblogs #themedthursdays

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Blueberry
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Pickpick

Just completed. 3 stars. My second memoir about a polygamous American fundamentalist Mormon cult living in Mexico.

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Christine
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Pickpick

I like Anne Bogel‘s podcast, but this week‘s episode was really not for me. However, it did prompt me to take this unread book off my shelf, and I‘m grateful for that! Wariner‘s story is hard to read about, but she tells it in a brave, straightforward, and thoughtful way.

Joyfulmimi What was your issue with the podcast? I wondered because I find myself not listening as loyally as in the past. (edited) 4y
Christine @Joyfulmimi I think I struggled with the guest, mostly...somehow felt pretty self-promotional to me. 4y
Joyfulmimi I usually don‘t like that kinda feeling about a person either 4y
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Kristy_K
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Pickpick

This is so disturbing, awful, heartbreaking, upsetting and a myriad of other negative emotions. What Ruth Wariner went through while growing up in a Mormon polygamist community (commune) was horrible and I am amazed that she was such a strong young girl who seems to have turned into an amazing person.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#24in48 #readathon #blameitonlitsy #memoir #truecrime

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Aloisi_tribe
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This memoir about a polygamist family was heart wrenching. It took me a long time to read because I kept stopping to read something lighter. But I would find myself thinking about Ruthie and wondering what happened next. There are awful, horrible things that happen in this book and just when you think it has reached the lowest point possible for this family, something even more awful and horrible comes along. Not for the faint of heart.

Kaye NF 🌟 4y
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emilyhaldi
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My husband and I saw Book of Mormon last year for his birthday and loved the brilliant, comedic portrayal of the Mormon religion. On the other hand, there are some stunningly tragic stories of the Morman faith and the impact it had on families and in the case of Ruth Wariner, the children. This book is well written and surprising, but mostly very sad.
#meandyoubutmostlyme
#musicalnewyear

Cinfhen Ive had this book stacked for a long time but I‘ve heard it‘s soooo tragic. I‘m not up for that right now. 4y
Cinfhen And we saw BoM in London....literally laughed out loud!!! Sooooo funny. The lyrics were brilliant 🙌🏻 4y
emilyhaldi @Cinfhen So good.. my husband was dying to see it for years but we just couldn‘t choke up the $400/seat 😆 so we finally saw it last year once the tickets were reasonable.. totally worth it!! And yes, you definitely have to be in the right mood for this book💙 (edited) 4y
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Suet624 I had no idea what I was getting into with this book. So many parts of it are forever implanted in my brain. It‘s pretty amazing. 4y
vivastory I saw BoM 2 years ago, I loved it. This sounds really interesting & tragic. Adding to my NF TBR. 4y
Reviewsbylola I‘ve had my eye on this book. 4y
ferskner I really want to read this! (Just FYI: those aren't Mormons in the book. They're fundamentalists who have been excommunicated from the church for their polygamy and abuse.) 4y
81 likes5 stack adds7 comments
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Cconnolly
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Pickpick

I stayed up to finish this book last night, and woke up still feeling upset. What a heartbreaking memoir, and amazingly difficult journey the author had to take as a child. Children are at the mercy of the choices the adults in their lives make, and I wanted to take each of the kids in my arms and rescue them. Time to choose a different genre now to uplift my soul.

LiteraryinLawrence I just read the description. Wow. Intense! 4y
8little_paws Oh this memoir is incredible. So intense and so well written. She loved her mother so much despite her deep limitations 4y
britt_brooke Such a tough, but fantastic read! 4y
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valeriegeary
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A little over 9 hours of reading so far this weekend.... It's 3pm where I am so I don't think there's any chance I'm going to make #24B4Monday..... Where does the time go I wonder? 🤔

BeansPage Hey you still did great! I bet next month you'll do even better! 😉 4y
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valeriegeary
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Work is done and the rain stopped so I'm finally starting #24B4Monday with an #audiowalk. First time participating in this #readathon, but I think it's going to be a great weekend to stay in and see how many #readwhatyouown books I can get through before October ends.

@TheReadingMermaid

julesG Saw your tagged book's title and your picture and was confused for a second - there's no gravel in your picture. 😉 4y
britt_brooke What a cutie! 💚🐾 And great, but heartbreaking read. 4y
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Melissa_J Such a good boy! 13/10 would pat 🐾 4y
valeriegeary @julesG 😂😂🙃 4y
valeriegeary @britt_brooke I'm enjoying it so far though I kind of wish they'd hired a professional narrator instead of using the author. 🤷 It reminds me of Educated. They're different enough to read both but similar themes. 4y
valeriegeary @Melissa_J hehehe! 🤗 4y
britt_brooke @valeriegeary I read this one in print, but I know what you mean. Sometimes the author is just not right as narrator. I read Educated a couple of months ago and agree (though I liked this one more). 4y
BeansPage 👍🏻😃👍🏻 4y
LauraBeth I can smell the wet leaves in that picture 😀 4y
AlaMich Awww! S/he looks so cute in that jacket! 🐶❤️ 4y
JennyM Hi Charlie 👋 4y
69 likes12 comments
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AndLamb83
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Pickpick

This book was incredible! It's a memoir about growing up in a Mormon polygamist cult. It's raw and heartbreaking and impossible to put down! I highly recommend this one! #bookworm #bibliophile #fallreads #libby #kindleoasis #ebook

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Busha1984
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Pickpick

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tragic and heart-wrenching while also beautiful and heart-warming. Ruth Wariner leaves nothing out about her life growing up in a polygamist community. The Sound of Gravel is powerful and leads your emotions on a roller coaster.

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Erin.Elizabeth10
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Pickpick

WOW. This book is not for the faint of heart, but it is so good. It‘s an expertly crafted memoir about a girl who grew up in a polygamist family. She encounters so many trials, abuses, and devastating circumstances but she perseveres and overcomes! It is a very hard read, but I would recommend it.

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auntie_jenn
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Pickpick

another wowza of a memoir. if you liked Educated, pick this one up. 5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Expandingbookshelf
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Pickpick

This is a memoir by a woman who grew up in a polygamist cult. She was the 39th of her father‘s 42 children. After her father is murdered by his brother in a bid for church power (how‘s that for some Cain and Able shit?!) her mother becomes the second wife of another faithful congregant...but that man isn‘t exactly who he seems.

This book can be brutal and infuriating and not for the faint of heart, but it‘s also fascinating and hopeful.

BookaholicNatty @Expandingbookshelf I loved this book!!!!!! You should also check out the book by her cousin Anna LeBaron called The Polygamists Daughter! They were both on a podcast together that I listened to and it was soooo awesome how they found each other and discovered they were cousins! (edited) 4y
Expandingbookshelf @BookaholicNatty oooh I‘ll definitely check that out! 4y
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Luna_Art3mis
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Pickpick

I usually read fantasy and fiction books, but I received an ARC of this book so I read it. The story of young Ruth gripped me from the very start and wouldn‘t let go. I had the opportunity to talk to Ruth about her book, and you could see the pain still fresh in her eyes. It‘s a must read story of loss, sadness, family, and survival. ❤️

Leftcoastzen Welcome to Litsy. 4y
InLibrisVeritas Welcome to Litsy! 4y
Bronte_Chintz Welcome to Litsy, hope you love it here 🎉🎉🎉 4y
rather_be_reading welcome to litsy!! 📚🎉📚 4y
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy 📚🤓 4y
10 likes5 comments
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maximoffs
Pickpick

This book was moving and beautiful and sad in all the ways the memoirs I enjoy are. The audiobook was read by the author which I especially love for memoirs. Highly recommend, however it does have a trigger warning for CSA.

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maximoffs
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So close!!!

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Ashley85
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Ah. Just took a moment to admire this wonderful stack of books I just picked up from the library that I had on hold. Here‘s to a weekend full of reading, hopefully. Where should I begin? 🤗 ❤️📚#libraryhaul

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maximoffs
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Yay new audiobook! Love memoirs read by the author.

RadicalReader @maximoffs love reading books that have the audiobook read by the authors themselves so deep and impactful takes the book to a whole different level and deeper impact 5y
maximoffs @RadicalReader agreed! I don‘t typically like when they read their own fiction books but memoirs, yes 5y
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JacintaMCarter
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Pickpick

#2018Book52
Ruth Wariner was raised in a polygamist Mormon colony. Her father was the "prophet," but died shortly after her birth. Unmarried women in this colony can't reach Heaven, so her mother soon remarried and had more children. Through the course of this memoir, Wariner tells the story of being raised by a man who splits his time between four wives, takes liberties with his step-children, and faces no consequences for his actions.

60 likes3 stack adds
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Jennifercaloyeras
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Thatpartyhat
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I‘m experiencing much unanticipated stress while reading this book! Probably because my great grandparents were Mormon Polygamists living in the Mexican colonies and this could‘ve been my life if my grandmother hadn‘t fled. Thankful for her today.

Jess7 Welcome to Litsy!!! 5y
Kaye Welcome and thank you for the follow. That‘s quite an exciting back story to this book. I have it on audio but haven‘t listened to it yet. I have to be in the right mood for some of these type of books. Makes me claustrophobic to think about living under so many rules and laws and unusual lifestyles. 5y
4 likes2 comments
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emilyhaldi
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Pickpick

My first read of #24in48 was an incredibly heart-wrenching one ? I spent moments holding my breath that the parents in this story would make a good decision and do the right thing for their children.. and most of the time I was disappointed. But Wariner says about her mother "She wasn't some monster, she was just another human being who'd gone looking for her life and somehow ended up on the wrong path." But still....

Cinfhen I've heard this is a tough one to read 😔 5y
AmyG @Cinfhen I just read the same thing. 5y
Cinfhen And...was it super hard to read @AmyG ?!? 5y
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Eggs Love memoirs but so hard to read about innocent children who are subjected to a community's or family's rigid, harmful (illegal) beliefs 5y
AmyG @Cinfhen No...I read that this book was a difficult read. I haven‘t read the book. 5y
emilyhaldi @Cinfhen @AmyG @Eggs There are some sections of the book that are maddening- so unbelievable!! But reading about Wariner's experiences and how she somehow still managed to pull through the situation and live a sucessful, happy life is very inspiring. 5y
Cinfhen Got it @AmyG 😄I‘m glad to hear there is a “happy” ending @emilyhaldi (edited) 5y
Reviewsbylola Ok maybe I need to read this. 5y
emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola you definitely should!! 5y
Mdargusch It sounds like I need to read it too. 5y
107 likes3 stack adds10 comments
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emilyhaldi
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This memoir caught my eye on my recent #bookoutlet haul... The unbelievable-sounding story of Ruth Wariner's childhood growing up in a polygamist community in Mexico. Her father, believing himself to be a prophet, teaches that God will punish wicked people by destroying the world. Wariner writes of her slow discovery that perhaps she wants a different, and better, life for herself outside of her family's community.
#playlikegod
#nuyear

Cinfhen I've seen this book mentioned on so many lists...sounds fascinating! 5y
Kappadeemom I loved this book!! 5y
Reviewsbylola This was a BOTM selection before we were members. You‘ll have to let me know how it is. 5y
See All 8 Comments
TrishB Interesting blurb 👍🏻 5y
vivastory Stacked! @britt_brooke this sounds something you might be interested in 5y
britt_brooke @vivastory Right you are! I read it last year. 😁 It‘s good, but so tough at times. (edited) 5y
vivastory @britt_brooke it sounds really tough 5y
CoffeeK8 I 💖 this book! 5y
106 likes3 stack adds8 comments
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HoneyBaby
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First book of 2018.

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Donnasmiles
Bailedbailed

I just couldn't keep going....75% through but the mother in this memoir was literally making me nuts! If you're looking for a sad story...this one is your book. The sexual child abuse, polygamy, and just straight disregard for the humans you bring into the world just broke me down. I know we all contribute to the things that may screw our kids up but this true story was not my cuppa.

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Happiestwhenreading
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Mehso-so

A story of survival amidst the worst of circumstances. Constantly shuffled around and given more responsibilities than appropriate, Ruth Wariner lives a childhood that is sad, abusive, and horrific. She demonstrates the human‘s incredible resiliency and even manages to forgive her mother‘s terrible choices.

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Donnasmiles
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Someone wanted recommendations for a sad book...well here it is. It's a memoir of a polygamist family and all that entails. It covers abuse, poverty, family relationships, and even the love present in all those settings....great memoir.

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RebelReader
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Pickpick

This is the second book in a row I've read about kids trying to survive with parents I'll equipped to take care of them. One fiction and one memoir. One black family and one white family. What really hits me is that these are human stories and how strong the will to survive is in some people. Makes me thankful for the childhood I experienced. I do think this was a good pairing with Sing,Unburied,Sing. I recommend this one for sure.

Suet624 This book was stunning. 5y
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saguarosally
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First book finished in two months. I needed a book. Really I need more books.

Photo is of a library in Tampa. Clever idea before ebooks became big!

AmyG Oh wow. Like a drive thru depository? To return your books? 5y
saguarosally @AmyG And to pick them up! 5y
AmyG Wow. All those years of schlepping the kids into the library to do those things. I feel cheated. ;) 5y
57 likes3 comments
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saguarosally
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I have taken up going to the laundromat so I can get in some reading time. #multitasking #laundroreading #tampa

AmyG That's the best part of the laundromat! 5y
saguarosally @AmyG Laundroreading could become a new thing! 5y
AmyG We will have the cleanest clothes in town. ;) 5y
GlassAsDiamonds I loved hauling all our sheets and towels to the laundromat - enforced relaxation and clean linen!!! 😊😊😊 (alas, we moved but one day!). 5y
50 likes4 comments
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cariashley
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Pickpick

Wow, this was a brutal gut punch of a memoir about being raised in a fundamentalist polygamist colony. I was yelling out loud at the audiobook at points. What Wariner endured and finally escaped is both harrowing and enraging, and I just can‘t understand how her mother let it all happen. For Wariner to get to a place in her life to be able to tell her story is just amazing.

Cortg Sounds good! 5y
HollyB3 This book was so intense. But I liked it. 5y
Suet624 This book and her story were bonkers! 5y
JenReadsAlot This was a crazy good book. 5y
56 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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saguarosally
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October stats: Zero.

Busy working. I'll be back in a while. Until then, read on y'all.