The Sound of Gravel

The Sound of Gravel
Author: Ruth Wariner
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781250077714
Available:
Release: 2016-01-05
Editor: Flatiron Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An instant New York Times bestseller “A haunting, harrowing testament to survival." — People Magazine “An addictive chronicle of a polygamist community.” — New York Magazine “Unforgettable” — Entertainment Weekly The thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children, Ruth Wariner grew up in 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.

The Sound of Gravel

The Sound of Gravel
Author: Ruth Wariner
Pages: 352
ISBN: 1250077702
Available:
Release: 2017-04-25
Editor: Flatiron Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A riveting, deeply affecting true story of one girl’s coming-of-age in a polygamist family. RUTH WARINER was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turn 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 Ruth’s mother collects welfare and her stepfather 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 she 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 memoir of one girl’s fight for peace and love. This is an intimate, gripping tale of triumph, courage, and resilience.

The Sound of Gravel

The Sound of Gravel
Author: Ruth Wariner
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781250077691
Available:
Release: 2016-01-05
Editor: Macmillan
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

The Polygamist s Daughter

The Polygamist s Daughter
Author: Anna LeBaron
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781496417589
Available:
Release: 2017-03-21
Editor: NavPress
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

My father had thirteen wives and more than fifty children . . . This is the haunting memoir of Anna LeBaron, daughter of the notorious polygamist and murderer Ervil LeBaron. Ervil’s criminal activity kept Anna and her siblings constantly on the run from the FBI. Often starving, the children lived in a perpetual state of fear—and despite their numbers, Anna always felt alone. Would she ever find a place she truly belonged? Would she ever be anything other than the polygamist’s daughter? Filled with murder, fear, and betrayal, The Polygamist’s Daughter is the harrowing, heart-wrenching story of a fatherless girl and her unwavering search for love, faith, and a place to call home.

Shattered Dreams

Shattered Dreams
Author: Irene Spencer
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781599950310
Available:
Release: 2007-08-22
Editor: Center Street
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Irene Spencer did as she felt God commanded in marrying her brother-in-law Verlan LeBaron, becoming his second wife. When the government raided the fundamentalist, polygamous Mormon village of Short Creek, Arizona, Irene and her family fled to Verlan's brothers' Mexican ranch. They lived in squalor and desolate conditions in the Mexican desert with Verlan's six brothers, one sister, and numerous wives and children. Readers will be appalled and astonished, but most amazingly, greatly inspired. Irene's dramatic story reveals how far religion can be stretched and abused and how one woman and her children found their way out, into truth and redemption.

Torn by God A Family s Struggle with Polygamy

Torn by God  A Family s Struggle with Polygamy
Author: Zoe Murdock
Pages: 300
ISBN: 9780923178079
Available:
Release: 2009
Editor: HOT Press Publishing
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Only Girl in the World

The Only Girl in the World
Author: Maude Julien
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780316466608
Available:
Release: 2017-12-12
Editor: Little, Brown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

AN AMAZON BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH. For readers of Room and The Glass Castle, an astonishing memoir of one woman rising above an unimaginable childhood. Maude Julien's parents were fanatics who believed it was their sacred duty to turn her into the ultimate survivor--raising her in isolation, tyrannizing her childhood and subjecting her to endless drills designed to "eliminate weakness." Maude learned to hold an electric fence for minutes without flinching, and to sit perfectly still in a rat-infested cellar all night long (her mother sewed bells onto her clothes that would give her away if she moved). She endured a life without heat, hot water, adequate food, friendship, or any kind of affectionate treatment. But Maude's parents could not rule her inner life. Befriending the animals on the lonely estate as well as the characters in the novels she read in secret, young Maude nurtured in herself the compassion and love that her parents forbid as weak. And when, after more than a decade, an outsider managed to penetrate her family's paranoid world, Maude seized her opportunity. By turns horrifying and magical, The Only Girl in the World is a story that will grip you from the first page and leave you spellbound, a chilling exploration of psychological control that ends with a glorious escape.

The Road

The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780307267450
Available:
Release: 2007-03-20
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE The searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive. A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other. The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation. A New York Times Notable Book One of the Best Books of the Year The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post, The Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York, People, Rocky Mountain News, Time, The Village Voice, The Washington Post

Blackbird

Blackbird
Author: Jennifer Lauck
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781451644302
Available:
Release: 2012-04-24
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

With the startling emotional immediacy of a fractured family photo album, Jennifer Lauck's incandescent memoir is the story of an ordinary girl growing up at the turn of the 1970s and the truly extraordinary circumstances of a childhood lost. Wrenching and unforgettable, Blackbird will carry your heart away. The house on Mary Street was home to Jennifer; her older brother B.J.; their hardworking father, who smelled like aftershave and read her Snow White; and their mother, who called her little daughter Sunshine and embraced Jackie Kennedy's sense of style. Through a child's eyes, the skies of Carson City were forever blue, and life was perfect -- a world of Barbies, Bewitched, and the Beatles. Even her mother's pain from her mysterious illness could be patted away with hairspray, powder, and a kiss on the cheek....But soon, everything Jennifer has come to love and rely on begins to crumble, sending her on a roller coaster of loss and loneliness. In a world unhinged by tragedy, where beautiful mothers die and families are warped by more than they can bear, a young girl must transcend a landscape of pain and mistreatment to discover her richest resource: her own unshakable will to survive.

The Rules of Inheritance

The Rules of Inheritance
Author: Claire Bidwell Smith
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781101559864
Available:
Release: 2012-02-02
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A powerful and searingly honest memoir about a young woman who loses her family but finds herself in the process. In this astonishing debut, Claire Bidwell Smith, an only child, is just fourteen years old when both of her charismatic parents are diagnosed with cancer. What follows is a coming-of-age story that is both heartbreaking and exhilarating. As Claire hurtles towards loss she throws herself at anything she thinks might help her cope with the weight of this harsh reality: boys, alcohol, traveling, and the anonymity of cities like New York and Los Angeles. By the time she is twenty-five years old they are both gone and Claire is very much alone in the world. Claire's story is less of a tragic tale and more of a remarkable lesson on how to overcome some of life's greatest hardships. Written with suspense and style, and bursting with love and adventure, The Rules of Inheritance vividly captures the deep grief and surprising light of a young woman forging ahead on a journey of loss that humbled, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

In Spite of Myself

In Spite of Myself
Author: Christopher Plummer
Pages: 656
ISBN: 9780307373120
Available:
Release: 2009-10-06
Editor: Vintage Canada
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Canada’s most celebrated and acclaimed actor lets loose in a magnificent memoir that will delight and enchant readers across the country. A rollicking, rich self-portrait written by one of today’s greatest living actors. The story of a “young wastrel, incurably romantic, spoiled rotten” – his privileged Montreal background, rich in Victorian gentility, included steam yachts, rare orchid farms, music lessons in Paris and Berlin – “who tore himself away from the ski slopes to break into the big, bad world of theater not from the streets up but from an Edwardian living room down.” Plummer writes of his early acting days – on radio and stage with William Shatner and other fellow Canadians; of the early days of the Stratford Festival in southern Ontario; of his Broadway debut at twenty-four in The Starcross Story, starring Eva Le Gallienne (“It opened and closed in one night, but what a night!”); of joining Peter Hall’s Royal Shakespeare Company (its other members included Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave and Peter O’Toole); of his first picture, Stage Struck, directed by Sidney Lumet; and of The Sound of Music, which he affectionately dubbed “S&M.” He writes about his legendary colleagues: Dame Judith Anderson (“the Tasmanian devil from Down Under”); Sir Tyrone Guthrie; Sir Laurence Olivier; Elia Kazan (“this chameleon of chameleons might change into you, wear your skin, steal your soul”); and “that reprobate” Jason Robards, among many others. A revelation of the wild and exuberant ride that is the actor’s – at least this actor’s – life.

Banished

Banished
Author: Lauren Drain
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781455512430
Available:
Release: 2013-03-05
Editor: Grand Central Publishing
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

NOW A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER You've likely heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. Perhaps you've seen their pickets on the news, the members holding signs with messages that are too offensive to copy here, protesting at events such as the funerals of soldiers, the 9-year old victim of the recent Tucson shooting, and Elizabeth Edwards, all in front of their grieving families. The WBC is fervently anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and anti- practically everything and everyone. And they aren't going anywhere: in March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the WBC's right to picket funerals. Since no organized religion will claim affiliation with the WBC, it's perhaps more accurate to think of them as a cult. Lauren Drain was thrust into that cult at the age of 15, and then spat back out again seven years later. BANISHED is the first look inside the organization, as well as a fascinating story of adaptation and perseverance. Lauren spent her early years enjoying a normal life with her family in Florida. But when her formerly liberal and secular father set out to produce a documentary about the WBC, his detached interest gradually evolved into fascination, and he moved the entire family to Kansas to join the church and live on their compound. Over the next seven years, Lauren fully assimilated their extreme beliefs, and became a member of the church and an active and vocal picketer. But as she matured and began to challenge some of the church's tenets, she was unceremoniously cast out from the church and permanently cut off from her family and from everyone else she knew and loved. BANISHED is the story of Lauren's fight to find herself amidst dramatic changes in a world of extremists and a life in exile.

The Middle Place

The Middle Place
Author: Kelly Corrigan
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781401395575
Available:
Release: 2008-01-08
Editor: Hachette Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

For Kelly Corrigan, family is everything. At thirty-six, she had a marriage that worked, two funny, active kids, and a weekly newspaper column. But even as a thriving adult, Kelly still saw herself as the daughter of garrulous Irish-American charmer George Corrigan. She was living deep within what she calls the Middle Place--"that sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap"--comfortably wedged between her adult duties and her parents' care. But Kelly is abruptly shoved into coming-of-age when she finds a lump in her breast--and gets the diagnosis no one wants to hear. When George, too, learns that he has late-stage cancer, it is Kelly's turn to take care of the man who had always taken care of her--and to show us a woman who finally takes the leap and grows up. Kelly Corrigan is a natural-born storyteller, a gift you quickly recognize as her father's legacy, and her stories are rich with everyday details. She captures the beat of an ordinary life and the tender, sometimes fractious moments that bind families together. Rueful and honest, Kelly is the prized friend who will tell you her darkest, lowest, screwiest thoughts, and then later dance on the coffee table at your party. Funny yet heart-wrenching, The Middle Place is about being a parent and a child at the same time. It is about the special double-vision you get when you are standing with one foot in each place. It is about the family you make and the family you came from--and locating, navigating, and finally celebrating the place where they meet. It is about reaching for life with both hands--and finding it.

God s Brothel

God s Brothel
Author: Andrea Moore-Emmett
Pages: 238
ISBN: WISC:89082395666
Available:
Release: 2004
Editor: Pince Nez Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A shocking indictment of polygamy, this book reveals gruesome facts about Bible-based polygamy through the experiences of 18 brave women who escaped from ten of the 11 main polygamous groups. (Christian)

Still Waters

Still Waters
Author: Jennifer Lauck
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780743444286
Available:
Release: 2002-03-01
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Anger is a poison ivy in the heart and if it grows unchecked, it covers all the soft spaces where you love and understand and feel joy. There's power in anger, sure, a power that can help you survive. But true wisdom is in knowing when to let it go. In Still Waters, Jennifer Lauck continues the riveting true story begun in her critically acclaimed memoir, Blackbird. Clutching her pink trunk filled with secret treasures, the last relics of a lost childhood, twelve-year-old Jenny steps off a bus in Reno and straight into the wide-open future, where no path is certain except that of her own heart....Separated from her brother, Bryan, and passed from caretaker to caretaker, Jenny endures as she always has: by following the inner compass of the survivor. But when Bryan chooses a shocking, tragic destiny, Jenny must at last confront the secrets, lies, and loneliness that have held her prisoner for years. Embarking on a search for answers, the adult Jenny discovers that the past cannot be locked away forever -- even when unraveling one's own anger and pain seems an impossible feat. Now, in the warmth and understanding of her marriage, in the eyes of her child, and in powerful conversations with a dynamic young priest, Jennifer finds her own miracles. A hardened heart learns to love. A damaged soul finds peace. And life, once merely a matter of survival, becomes rich with the joys of truly living.

North Of Normal

North Of Normal
Author: Cea Sunrise Person
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781443424400
Available:
Release: 2014-04-29
Editor: Harper Collins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In the late 1960s, riding the crest of the counterculture movement, Cea’s family left a comfortable existence in California to live off the land in northern Alberta. But unlike most commune dwellers of the time, the Persons weren’t trying to build a new society—they wanted to escape civilization altogether. Led by Cea’s grandfather Dick, they lived in a canvas Teepee, grew pot, and hunted and gathered to survive. Living out her grandparents’ dream with her teenage mother, Michelle, young Cea knew little of the world beyond her forest. She spent her summers playing nude in the meadow and her winters snowshoeing behind the grandfather she idolized. Despite fierce storms, food shortages and the occasional drug-and-sex-infused party for visitors, it was a happy existence. For Michelle, however, there was one crucial element missing: a man. When Cea was five, Michelle took her on the road with a new boyfriend. As the trio set upon a series of ill-fated adventures, Cea began to question both her highly unusual world and the hedonistic woman at the centre of it—questions that eventually evolved into an all-consuming search for a more normal life. Finally, in her early teens, Cea realized she would have to make a choice as drastic as the one her grandparents once had made in order to get the life she craved. From nature child to international model by the age of thirteen, Cea’s astonishing saga is one of long-held family secrets and extreme family dysfunction, all in an incredibly unusual setting. It is also the story of one girl’s deep-seated desire for normality—a desire that enabled her to risk everything, overcome adversity and achieve her dreams.

The Mushroom Fan Club

The Mushroom Fan Club
Author: Elise Gravel
Pages: 58
ISBN: 9781770463943
Available:
Release: 2020-11-24
Editor: Drawn & Quarterly
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Join Elise Gravel as she explores the science of some of nature's weirdest and wildest characters—mushrooms! Elise Gravel is back with a whimsical look at one of her family’s most beloved pastimes: mushroom hunting! Combining her love of getting out into nature with her talent for anthropomorphizing everything, Gravel takes us on a magical tour of the forest floor and examines a handful of her favorite alien specimens up close. While the beautiful coral mushroom looks like it belongs under the sea, the peculiar lactarius indigo may be better suited for outer space! From the fun-to-stomp puffballs to the prince of the stinkers—the stinkhorn mushroom—and the musically inclined chanterelles, Gravel shares her knowledge of this fascinating kingdom by bringing each species to life in full felt-tip marker glory. Governor General award winning author Elise Gravel’s first book with Drawn & Quarterly, If Found...Please Return to Elise Gravel, was a Junior Library Guild selection, and instant hit among librarians, parents, and kids alike. Fostering the same spirit of creativity and curiosity, The Mushroom Fan Club promises to inspire kids to look more closely at the world around them and seek out all of life’s little treasures, stinky or not!

Murdering My Youth

Murdering My Youth
Author: Cady McClain
Pages: 270
ISBN: 1497356946
Available:
Release: 2014-04-16
Editor: CreateSpace
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"By fearlessly revealing the horrors of her upbringing-- alcoholism, madness, sexual abuse, and that's just for starters-- this supremely gifted actress and filmmaker delivers a story of emotional survival that is raw, wild and shocking, yet also dazzlingly funny." --Amazon.com.

Olympus Texas

Olympus  Texas
Author: Stacey Swann
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780385545228
Available:
Release: 2021-05-04
Editor: Doubleday
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A bighearted debut with technicolor characters, plenty of Texas swagger, and a powder keg of a plot in which marriages struggle, rivalries flare, and secrets explode, all with a clever wink toward classical mythology. "Wildly entertaining." --Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls The Briscoe family is once again the talk of their small town when March returns to East Texas two years after he was caught having an affair with his brother's wife. His mother, June, hardly welcomes him back with open arms. Her husband's own past affairs have made her tired of being the long-suffering spouse. Is it, perhaps, time for a change? Within days of March's arrival, someone is dead, marriages are upended, and even the strongest of alliances are shattered. In the end, the ties that hold them together might be exactly what drag them all down. An expansive tour de force, Olympus, Texas cleverly weaves elements of classical mythology into a thoroughly modern family saga, rich in drama and psychological complexity. After all, at some point, don't we all wonder: What good is this destructive force we call love?

The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle
Author: Jeannette Walls
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781416544661
Available:
Release: 2006-01-02
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Journalist Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary and their four children lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family. When the money ran out, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town Rex had tried to escape. As the dysfunction escalated, the children had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they found the resources and will to leave home. Yet Walls describes her parents with deep affection in this tale of unconditional love in a family that, despite its profound flaws, gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life. -- From publisher description.