Author: Ruth Wariner
Ruth Wariner recounts her coming of age as a member of a polygamist cult stationed in rural Mexico. The thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children, Ruth struggles with her dedication to her faith, her family, and herself.
The topic of cults has interested me for a long time. The people enter or were born into cults have worldviews that are so opposite of mine, that I can’t help but want to dig deeper into what a cult could offer in exchange for something as vital and human as freedom. I couldn’t put this book down because not only was writing good, but the story had me asking myself “Why would a mother do this to her children?”
I don’t think Ruth’s figured that one yet herself.
The cult Ruth was born into taught that polygamist values were the only way to get into Heaven. That it was God’s mission for them to repopulate the Earth and that meant having as many children, wives, and husbands as possible. Her mother was not born into the cult and often drove back to the US to visit Ruth’s grandparents, which begins the end of Ruth’s faith in her faith.
The story revolves around Ruth’s mother, her brothers, and sisters, and her stepfather. But her mother is someone that causes Ruth a lot of pain. They live in a little shack in Mexico with the rest of the congregation with no electricity or plumbing. The life that Ruth describes is meager and pitiful.
Ruth’s mother was selfish. Ruth never claimed that in her memoir but it’s all I could conclude. So many of Ruth and her sibling’s troubles could’ve been avoided if her mother had just listened and done something that didn’t revolve around her. It makes me mad, and it had literally nothing to do with me.
A fascinating thing about this memoir is that Ruth never writes as if she has any negative feelings towards her mother only pity, and sadness. I don’t believe a woman like that deserved pity, but I’m a lot pettier than the average person.
It was lovely to see that Ruth and her siblings got the help they needed and got the hell out of that cult and hopefully are living happy lives. 100% would recommend!
By the way, this book does describe some triggering topics such as child sexual abuse and domestic abuse. Please be aware.