Download and read online The Sound of Gravel in PDF and EPUB 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.
Download and read online The Sound of Gravel in PDF and EPUB 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.
Download and read online The Sound of Gravel in PDF and EPUB 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.
Download and read online The Polygamist s Daughter in PDF and EPUB 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.
Download and read online The Only Girl in the World in PDF and EPUB ‘A living testimony of resilience...An account as gripping as it is inspiring.’ Elle The Only Girl in the World is an inspiring testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Maude Julien’s childhood was defined by the iron grip of her father, who was convinced his daughter was destined for great deeds. His plan began when he adopted Maude’s mother and indoctrinated her with his esoteric ideals. Her mission was to give him a daughter as blonde as she was, and then to take charge of the child’s education. That child was Maude, on whom her father conducted his outrageous experiment—to raise the perfect ‘super-human’ being. The three lived in an isolated mansion in northern France, where her father made her undergo endless horrifying endurance tests. Maude had to hold an electric fence without flinching. Her parents locked her in a cellar overnight and ordered her to sit still on a stool in the dark, contemplating death, while rats scurried at her feet. How did this girl, with her loveless and lonely childhood, emerge so unscathed, so full of the empathy that was absent in her childhood? How did she manage to escape? Maude was sustained by her love of nature and animals and her passion for literature. In writing this memoir, Maude Julien shows that it is possible to overcome severe trauma. She recounts her chilling and deeply moving story in a compelling and compassionate voice. Maude Julien works as a psychotherapist, specialising in mind and behavioural control, emotional manipulation and trauma, and conducts anthropological research among Indigenous Australians. She lives in Paris. Ursula Gauthier is a journalist at the French weekly magazine L’Obs and the author and co-author of many works. She lives in Paris. Adriana Hunter is the prize-winning translator of writers including Catherine Millet, Amelie Nothomb and Véronique Olmi. ‘Maude Julien delivers a staggering testimony, one that remains full of hope.’ Ouest France ‘A serious subject: manipulation, in which the author is now a professional therapist. Maude Julien does not write with resentment, or bear grievances; rather she delivers a clear message of hope.’ Livreshebdo ‘This story is never maudlin—it is so absorbing that you have to remind yourself to breathe from time to time.’ Le Point ‘Her book offers a ray of hope.’ Metro Belgique ‘A fascinating and inspirational read.’ BookMooch ‘A fantastic memoir that I recommend highly. It’s a unique survivorship novel of what cults can do to children, but how the resilience of children can create positive outcomes.’ Cosy Dragon ‘A harrowing yet achingly beautiful tale of a girl imprisoned by her brutal, fanatic family, but whose yearning for wonder and love ultimately drives her toward the improbable light of the world. This is a story of resilience unlike any I have ever read.’ Mira Bartók, author of The Memory Palace ‘One of the most original and compelling stories I’ve read. Maude Julien’s love of books ignites an insatiable curiosity about the world outside the walls of the home where her parents hold her captive. A tale of hope and profound courage, Julien’s story illustrates how trusting ourselves and following our hearts can save us from the most oppressive and cruel conditions. Her brave spirit shines as a bright reminder that what lies within us is stronger and more powerful than our circumstances.’ Ruth Wariner, author of The Sound of Gravel ‘Harrowing, heartbreaking, and against-all-odds uplifting...Julien’s voice is eloquent, composed, understated – the facts of the story are devastating enough. They require no emotive embellishment. That she recounts these experiences in the present tense, however, gives the book a gripping and visceral immediacy...Maude Julien is genuinely a super human.’ Saturday Paper ‘A deeply moving story of resilience and the power of the human spirit to find beauty and love amid the bleakest circumstances.’ Good Reading ‘[Julien’s] growing independence of mind and fierce hunger for freedom make for an ultimately uplifting read.’ Sydney Morning Herald ‘Your heart will break out in symphonies. This is an astonishing story, told in lucid, intelligent prose.’ Australian
Download and read online Cult Insanity in PDF and EPUB Life for Irene Spencer was a series of devastating disappointments and hardships. Irene's first book, Shattered Dreams, is the staggering chronicle of her struggle to provide for her children in abject poverty and feelings of abandonment each time her husband left to be with one of his other wives. Irene was raised to believe polygamy was the way of life necessary for her ticket to heaven. The hard knocks of her environment were just the beginning of Irene's shocking tale. Insanity ran rampant in her husband's family and was the source of inconceivable events that unfolded throughout Irene's adult life. CULT INSANITY takes readers deeper into her story to uncover the outrageous behavior of her brother-in-law Ervil -- a self-proclaimed prophet who determined he was called to set the house of God in order -- and how he terrorized their colony. Claiming to be God's avenger and to have a license to kill in the name of God, Ervil ordered the murders of friends and family members, eliminating all those who challenged his authority. For those who were gripped by Shattered Dreams, the rest of the story will blow them away. CULT INSANITY is a riveting, terrifying memoir of polygamist life under the tyranny of a madman.
Download and read online KooKooLand in PDF and EPUB Gloria Norris’s KooKooLand is a memoir written on the edge of a knife blade. Chilling, intensely moving, and darkly funny, it cuts to the heart and soul of a troubled American family, and announces the arrival of a startlingly original voice. Gloria Norris grew up in the projects of Manchester, New Hampshire with her parents, her sister, Virginia, and her cat, Sylvester. A snapshot might show a happy, young family, but only a dummkopf would buy that. Nine-year-old Gloria is gutsy and wisecracking. Her father, Jimmy, all dazzle and danger, is often on the far side of the law and makes his own rules—which everyone else better follow. Gloria’s mom, Shirley, tries not to rock the boat, Virginia unwisely defies Jimmy, and Gloria fashions herself into his sidekick—the son he never had. Jimmy takes Gloria everywhere. Hunting, to the racetrack, to slasher movies, and to his parents’ dingy bar—a hole in the wall with pickled eggs and pickled alkies. But it is at Hank Piasecny’s gun shop that Gloria meets the person who will change her life. While Hank and Jimmy trade good-humored insults, Gloria comes under the spell of Hank’s college-age daughter, Susan. Brilliant, pretty, kind, and ambitious, Susan is everything Gloria longs to be—and can be, provided she dreams big and aces third grade like Susan tells her to. But, one night, a brutal act changes the course of all their lives. The story that unfolds is a profound portrait of how violence echoes through a family, and through a community. From the tragedy, Gloria finds a way to carve out a future on her own terms and ends up just where she wants to be. Gripping and unforgettable, KooKooLand is a triumph.
Download and read online Heart of Glass in PDF and EPUB In this edgy and romantic follow-up to her New York Times bestselling debut memoir, Chanel Bonfire, Wendy Lawless chronicles her misguided twenties—a darkly funny story of a girl without a roadmap for life who flees her disastrous past to find herself in the gritty heart of 1980s New York City. Before downtown Manhattan was scrubbed clean, gentrified and overrun with designer boutiques and trendy eateries and bars, it was the center of a burgeoning art scene—both exciting and dangerous. Running from the shipwreck of her glamorous and unstable childhood with a volatile mother, Wendy Lawless landed in the center of it all. With an open heart and a thrift store wardrobe, Wendy navigated this demi-monde of jaded punk rockers, desperate actors, pulsing parties, and unexpected run-ins with her own past as she made every mistake of youth, looked for love in all the wrong places, and eventually learned how to grow up on her own. With the same “biting humor” (People) that made her “powerful” (USA TODAY) and “illuminating and inspiring” (Reader’s Digest) New York Times bestseller Chanel Bonfire so captivating, Wendy turns her brutally honest and often hilarious spotlight on herself, recounting her tumultuous and giddy twenties trying to make it in the creative underbelly of New York City, all the while searching for love, a paying job, and occasionally, a free meal.
Download and read online Temperance Creek in PDF and EPUB In the early seventies, some of us were shot like stars from our parents’ homes. This was an act of nature, bigger than ourselves. In the austere beauty and natural reality of Hell’s Canyon of Eastern Oregon, one hundred miles from pavement, Pam, unable to identify with her parent’s world and looking for deeper pathways has a chance encounter with returning Vietnam warrior Skip Royes. Skip, looking for a bridge from survival back to connection, introduces Pam to the vanishing culture of the wandering shepherd and together they embark on a four-year sojourn into the wilderness. From the back of a horse, Pam leads her packstring of readers from overlook to water crossing, down trails two thousand years old, and from the vantages she chooses for us, we feel the edges of our own experiences. It is a memoir of falling in love with a place and a man and the price extracted for that love. Written with deep lyricism, Temperance Creek is a work of haunting beauty, fresh and irreverent and rooted in the grit and pleasure of daily life. This is Pam’s story, but the courage and truth in the telling is part of our human experience. Seen through a slower more primary mirror, one not so crowded with objectivity, Pam’s memoir, is a kind of home-coming, a family reunion for shooting stars.
Download and read online The Hero s Body in PDF and EPUB A memoir of motorcycles and muscles, of obsession and grief, and of a young man who learned how to stay alive through literature. At just forty-seven years old, William Giraldi's father was killed in a horrific motorcycle crash while racing on a country road. This tragedy, which forever altered the young Giraldi and devastated his family, provides the pulse for The Hero's Body. In the tradition of Andre Dubus III's Townie, this is an investigation into three generations of men from the working-class town of Manville, New Jersey, including Giraldi's own forays into obsessive bodybuilding as a teenager desperate to be worthy of his family's pitiless, exacting codes of manhood. Lauded by The New Yorker for his 'unrelenting, perfectly paced prose,' Giraldi writes here with daring, searing honesty about the fragility and might of the American male. An unflinching memoir of luminous sorrow, a son's tale of a lost father and the ancient family strictures of extreme masculinity, The Hero's Body is a work of lasting beauty by one of our finest writers. 'One of the best memoirs I’ve read in years' - Financial Times 'Must reading, and not just for men' - Richard Russo 'A hearty, bittersweet familial chronicle of masculinity drawing on the underappreciated bond between fathers and sons'- Kirkus Reviews 'The Hero’s Body offers a wise and thoughtful personal narrative as well as an illuminating portrait of a seductive, if hazardous, American subculture...' - Wall Street Journal 'William Giraldi’s memoir . . . offers a brilliant anthropological excursion into a world few of us will ever penetrate . . . To an urban reader used to bookstores and cocktail parties, Giraldi’s Manville, N.J., is as exotic as the Kalahari. . . . Perceptive and eloquent' - Washington Post
Download and read online Moonlight on Linoleum in PDF and EPUB Now in paperback—in the bestselling tradition of The Glass Castle and The Liar’s Club comes the captivating memoir of a young girl forced by her mother’s instability to care for her siblings. Even if others abandon you, you must never abandon yourself. This simple truth became Terry Helwig’s lifeline as she was forced to grow up too soon. Terry grew up the oldest of six girls in the big-sky country of the American Southwest, where she attended twelve schools in eleven years. Helwig’s stepfather Davy, a good-hearted and loving man, proudly purchased a mobile home to enable his family to move more easily from one oil town to another, where Davy eked out a living in the oil fields. Terry’s mother, Carola Jean, a wild rose whose love often pierced those who tried to claim her, had little interest in the confines of home and motherhood. In Davy’s absence, she sought companionship in local watering holes—a pastime she dubbed “visiting Timbuktu.” She repeatedly left Terry in charge of the household and her five younger sisters. Despite Carola Jean’s genuine attempts to “better herself,” her life spiraled ever downward as Terry struggled to keep the family whole. In the midst of transience and upheaval, Terry and her sisters forged an uncommon bond of sisterhood that withstood the erosion of Davy and Carola Jean’s marriage. But ultimately, to keep her own dreams alive, Terry had to decide when to hold on to what she loved and when to let go. Unflinching in its portrayal, yet told with humor and compassion, Terry Helwig’s luminous memoir, Moonlight on Linoleum, explores a family’s inner and outer landscapes of hope, despair, and redemption. It will make you laugh, cry, and hunger for more.
Download and read online After Perfect in PDF and EPUB A “searing memoir of loss and redemption” (People) that “exposes the side of The Wolf of Wall Street we didn’t get to see” (Metro), After Perfect is a cautionary tale about one family’s destruction in the wake of the Wall Street implosion. Selected as one of the year’s “Fifteen Books You Need to Read” by the Village Voice, Christina McDowell’s unflinching memoir is “a tale of the American Dream upended.” Growing up in an affluent Washington, DC, suburb, Christina and her sisters were surrounded by the elite: summering on Nantucket Island, speeding down Capitol Hill’s rich back roads, flying in their father’s private plane. Their life of luxury was brutally stripped away after the FBI arrested Tom Prousalis on fraud charges. When he took a plea deal as he faced the notorious Wolf of Wall Street Jordan Belfort’s testifying against him, the cars, homes, jewelry, clothes, and friends that defined the family disappeared before their eyes, including the one thing they could never get back: each other. Christina writes with candid clarity about the dark years that followed and the devastation her father’s crimes wrought upon her family: the debt accumulated under her identity; her mother’s breakdown; her own spiral into addiction and promiscuity; and the delusion that enveloped them all. She shines a remarkable, uncomfortable light on a family’s disintegration and takes a searing look at a controversial financial time and also at herself, a child whose “normal” belonged only to the one percent. A rare, insider’s perspective on the collateral damage of a fall from grace, After Perfect is a poignant reflection on the astounding pace at which a life can change and how blind we can be to the ugly truth.
Download and read online Dutch in PDF and EPUB This book, the only biography ever authorized by a sitting President--yet written with complete interpretive freedom--is as revolutionary in method as it is formidable in scholarship. When Ronald Reagan moved into the White House in 1981, one of his first literary guests was Edmund Morris, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Theodore Roosevelt. Morris developed a fascination for the genial yet inscrutable President and, after Reagan's landslide reelection in 1984, put aside the second volume of his life of Roosevelt to become an observing eye and ear at the White House. During thirteen years of obsessive archival research and interviews with Reagan and his family, friends, admirers and enemies (the book's enormous dramatis personae includes such varied characters as Mikhail Gorbachev, Michelangelo Antonioni, Elie Wiesel, Mario Savio, François Mitterrand, Grant Wood, and Zippy the Pinhead), Morris lived what amounted to a doppelgänger life, studying the young "Dutch," the middle-aged "Ronnie," and the septuagenarian Chief Executive with a closeness and dispassion, not to mention alternations of amusement, horror,and amazed respect, unmatched by any other presidential biographer. This almost Boswellian closeness led to a unique literary method whereby, in the earlier chapters of Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan, Morris's biographical mind becomes in effect another character in the narrative, recording long-ago events with the same eyewitness vividness (and absolute documentary fidelity) with which the author later describes the great dramas of Reagan's presidency, and the tragedy of a noble life now darkened by dementia. "I quite understand," the author has remarked, "that readers will have to adjust, at first, to what amounts to a new biographical style. But the revelations of this style, which derive directly from Ronald Reagan's own way of looking at his life, are I think rewarding enough to convince them that one of the most interesting characters in recent American history looms here like a colossus."
Download and read online The Sins of Brother Curtis in PDF and EPUB This brilliantly reported, unforgettable true story reveals how one of the most monstrous sexual criminals in the history of the Mormon church preyed on his victims even as he was protected by the church elders who knew of his behavior. When Seattle attorney Tim Kosnoff agreed to listen to an eighteen-year-old man who claimed to have been molested by his Mormon Sunday school teacher, he had no idea he was embarking on a quest for justice on behalf of multiple victims or that the battle would consume years of his life and pit him against the vast, powerful, and unrepentant Mormon church itself. As Kosnoff began to investigate the case, he discovered that the Sunday school teacher, a mysterious figure named Frank Curtis, possessed a long and violent prison record before he was welcomed into the church, where he became a respected elder entrusted with the care of prepubescent Mormon boys. Through Lisa Davis’s deft storytelling, two astonishing narratives unfold. The first shows how Brother Curtis ingratiated himself into the lives of young boys from working-class Mormon families where money was tight, and was accepted by mothers and fathers who saw in him a kindly uncle or grandfather figure who enjoyed the blessing of the church. Having gained the families’ trust, Curtis became fiendishly helpful, offering to supervise trips or overnights out of the sight of parents, when he could manipulate his victims or ply them with alcohol. The other narrative is a real-life legal thriller. As Davis shows, Kosnoff and his partners tirelessly assembled the case against the church, sifting through records, tracking down victims, and convincing them to testify about Brother Curtis’s acts. What began as a case of one plaintiff turned into a complex web stretching across multiple states. Joined by what would become a team of attorneys and investigators, Kosnoff found himself up against one of the most insular institutions in the United States: the secretive and powerful Mormon church. The amazing legal case at the heart of The Sins of Brother Curtis shows how the church’s elite, well-funded team of attorneys claimed the church was protected under the Constitution from revealing that Curtis had molested a number of Mormon boys. Yet Kosnoff and his devoted legal team (which included a female investigator adept at getting parents of victims to talk to her) succeeded in forcing the church to reveal that it knew about Curtis and ultimately achieved a successful settlement. Emotionally powerful page by page, The Sins of Brother Curtis delivers a redemptive reading experience in which the truth, no matter how painful and hidden, is told at last and justice is hard won. This is a remarkable story, all true.
Download and read online Die Young with Me in PDF and EPUB In the tradition of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, this incredibly moving and harrowing true story of a teenager diagnosed with cancer is “a resounding affirmation of how music can lift one’s spirits beyond gray skies and bad news (Kirkus Reviews).” Punk’s not dead in rural West Virginia. In fact, it blares constantly from the basement of Rob and Nat Rufus—identical twin brothers with spiked hair, black leather jackets, and the most kick-ass record collection in Appalachia. To them, school (and pretty much everything else) sucks. But what can you expect when you’re the only punks in town? When the brothers start their own band, their lives begin to change: they meet friends, they attract girls, and they finally get invited to join a national tour and get out of their rat box little town. But their plans are cut short when Rob is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has already progressed to Stage Four. Not only are his dreams of punk rock stardom completely shredded, there is a very real threat that this is one battle that can’t be won. While Rob suffers through nightmarish treatments and debilitating surgery, Nat continues on their band’s road to success alone. But as Rob’s life diverges from his brother’s, he learns to find strength within himself and through his music. Die Young with Me is a “raw, honest picture of the weirdness of growing up” (Marky Ramone) and the story of a brave teen’s battle with cancer and the many ways music helped him cope through his recovery.