Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Sound of Gravel (Ruth Wariner)

I am always curious about polygamous stories. I have never known anyone in a family like this and cannot understand how I could ever be a positive situation. I do, however, have ancestors who were polygamists. Nothing much is ever said about their experience in my family history loving tribe, so it has always made me assume it was not a great situation. How could I ever be?

This story made me sad for the women who get themselves stuck in situations where they turn all decision making, all power and all control of their life over to someone else....a man. The man in this story was a sick and twisted lazy abuser. It made me angry to read of her mother's decisions to stay with him and continue to have me children and not protect them. I cannot stand such backward thinking and cowardliness. I hated how Ruth's mother kept saying, "If he ever does it again...." I hated how, after expelling him from their community, they decided he had suffered enough and let him back. I hated how he le his family live in such squalor. I hated him and I despised his wives.

But I also could not put the book down. I started it yesterday morning then had a full day of commitments. All day I kept wishing for time to steal away to my vehicle and spend some me time in the story. There was no time for that though. This morning I got up early before everyone else and picked up the book right away. I read it through to the end.....and then slammed it shut. It has left a cloud over my day that has not been easily shaken.

I am so proud of Ruth for being brave enough to turn her life and her siblings lives around. Thank goodness for people like her grandmother who weren't afraid to voice her opinion on the problems in the religion. It put ideas into Ruth's head to her her see she had to get out.

...and may people like Lane rot in hell.

Goodreads summary:

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment