In what might be one of the easiest ever Crystal Ball calls, we can say the Ruth Wariner’s The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir (Macmillan/Flatiron Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) is headed for best seller lists.
No guessing here. We know because the author announced it herself on her Facebook page.
“Just landed in California and received an unbelievable call from the team at Flatiron Books telling me that The Sound of Gravel is an instant NYT Bestseller. WOW! I can hardly believe it and feel like I might still be daydreaming on the plane right now! Thank you to everyone who has been involved and read my story so far. Thank you for reaching out to say how it has affected you, for recommending it to other readers, and for supporting me in so many ways. I am truly overwhelmed with amazement and gratitude!”
It debuts on the upcoming NYT Bestseller E-Book List at #13.
Thanks for GalleyChat columnist Robin Beerbower for the alert. She has been an early proponent of Wariner’s memoir about growing up in a violent polygamous Mormon cult. The book has also received advance media attention.
Pulling out the killer opening line: “I am my mother’s fourth child and my father’s thirty-ninth,” Entertainment Weekly gives it a glowing review and an A grade, saying:
“It’s so wrenching and moving that I lost sleep finishing the book, and then lost even more lying awake ruminating on it—a testament to Wariner’s skill at making painful events from decades ago feel visceral and to her willingness to reopen wounds.”
People has featured the title twice, making it their “Book of the Week” for the Jan 18 issue (which came out last Friday) and earlier featured a long, detailed interview with the author on the Web site, in which they call the memoir “powerful and poignant.”
As we reported earlier, it is a IndieNext pick for January too. Mary Laura Philpott (W), Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN says:
“This is a memoir made extraordinary simply by the fact that the author lived to tell the tale. Wariner grew up in a polygamist cult across the Mexican border, the 39th of her father’s 41 children. Surrounded by crushing poverty and repeated tragedy, little Ruth was taught that girls are born to be used by callous men and an angry God. However, she had just enough contact with her maternal grandparents and the outside world to realize the bizarre practices at home didn’t match up with the rest of civilization. With quiet persistence, she grew into an adolescent and began to consider the possibility of escape. Riveting and reminiscent of Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle.”
Holds are quickly getting out of control with ratios topping 7:1 on modest ordering in some areas. The author lives in Portland, Oregon and holds in the Northwest are particularly heavy.