Ruth Wariner
Bestselling Author of The Sound of Gravel
Her mother’s fourth child and her father’s 39th, Ruth Wariner spent her childhood in a polygamist Mormon colony in Chihuahua, Mexico. 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.

Ruth's childhood is spent helping to raise her six younger siblings in a home with half-finished walls and no bathroom while enduring years of sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather. 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 spent 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 questions her mother’s choices, she struggles to balance her fierce love for her siblings with her determination to forge a better life for herself. After a freak accident was followed by new revelations about her stepfather, Ruth fled to the US with her siblings in 1987. She put herself through college and taught high school Spanish for many years before becoming a writer and small business owner. She is happily married and lives with her husband in Lake Oswego.

Compassionate, compelling, intimate, and profound, Ruth’s coming-of-age story, the instant NYT Bestseller The Sound of Gravel, details her childhood in a compelling and intimate way that People Magazine hailed as: “heartbreaking, haunting, yet ultimately uplifting.” Through her story and ongoing commitment to herself and her siblings, Ruth reveals that what we have inside of us is stronger and more powerful than even the most horrific childhood circumstances.

BEYOND THE SOUND OF GRAVEL:One Woman’s Story of Triumph and Courage

In this authentic, unique and powerful program, audiences will discover:
• A sensational story of survival
• How to tap into personal strength and resilience
• The possibility of overcoming anything and everything

Ruth’s program will remind audiences that no matter where they come from or what they’ve experienced in their pasts, we all have the power to become stronger than our circumstances.

“Disturbing, powerful, and poignant, Wariner delivers a harrowing story of survival and taking the necessary risk of saving yourself.” —Real Simple Magazine
“After reading the amazing story of Ruth Wariner’s life, I was so captivated I couldn’t stop thinking about it and decided to invite her to our club. Her resilience is even more incredible in person and our audience members were on the edge of their seats the entire time she spoke! Ruth is an inspiration, and she tells her story with power and insight, leaving the audience with a strong sense of empowerment, personal strength and deep gratitude.”

—Karen Johnson, Meeting Planner and Social Chair at , Meeting Planner and Social Chair
Columbia Edgewater Golf Club

“The Gresham-Barlow Education Foundation had the privilege of hosting Ruth as our “Authors for Education” featured guest. She was a delightful speaker who gave an inspiring talk about the resilience that allowed her to not only overcome traumatic childhood circumstances, but also succeed and thrive. Those in the audience were left with a sense of wonder at her ability to forgive and use her challenges as motivation to get an education and become a teacher and author. Ruth’s warm and genuine personality had many of us wishing we could sit across the table from her with a warm cup of tea or fine glass of wine and chat for hours.”

—Vicki Moen Executive Director
Gresham Barlow Education Foundation

“Ruth Wariner will inspire with her direct, unsentimental prose. I felt nothing but awe and respect. That Ruth survived to tell this story simply boggles my mind.”

—Jennifer Lauck
, New York Times bestselling author of Blackbird, Still Waters, Show Me The Way, and Found

Ruth Wariner is a highly motivating and effective speaker. Her memoir, “The Sound of Gravel,” is riveting to read, and her way of speaking when presenting her story mirrors this down-to-earth yet compelling style. You feel like you are hearing from a friend. Ruth’s resilience is also inspirational for a fundraising event, as she is an amazing success story in her own right. For CPAH, she was able to tailor her message a bit to focus on how accessing affordable housing helped her survive, protect and raise her three young sisters.
Ruth is warm, intelligent and professional, and very accommodating to the needs of the organization and the event. We were honored to have her speak at our HomeWord Bound fundraiser!

Tracy Stepp Fundraising and Outreach Manager
Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH)