Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside his Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the 60s

Dianne Lake, with Deborah Herman. Morrow, $27.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-269557-4
In this disturbing, courageous memoir, Lake, a former special education teacher, recounts her dark journey as the youngest member of Charles Manson’s “family.” She was sexually abused by her grandfather as a child. Her hippie parents allowed her to attend concerts and parties on her own at a young age. When she met Charles Manson at age 14 she was easy prey for the charismatic, messianic con man. She writes of the environment in which she lived with many others. In the hothouse atmosphere of isolation and heavy LSD use, few of Manson’s followers balked when his ramblings shifted from talk of “love” and “freedom” to “race war” and “Helter Skelter.” Even after Manson raped Lake and later kicked her out of the group, she remained in his thrall. As the family careens toward the Tate and La Bianca murders, Lake’s story grows vague, as she did not participate in the gruesome event. Until that point, however, Lake never flinches from the grimness of her situation. She also recalls moments of happiness and community she experienced with the other Manson women (“Lynette and a girl named Patty stroked my hair and passed me a joint”), who confessed their crimes to her. Her testimony, at age 17, helped convict Manson. This is a moving, intense insider’s view of the cult of Manson. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/13/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-06-269611-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-274973-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-5564-7
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-269560-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-5562-3
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