• Member of the Family

  • My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties
  • By: Dianne Lake, Deborah Herman
  • Narrated by: Dianne Lake
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 10-24-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.6 (379 ratings)

Regular price: $31.93

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Publisher's Summary

In this poignant and disturbing memoir of lost innocence, coercion, survival, and healing, Dianne Lake chronicles her years with Charles Manson, revealing for the first time how she became the youngest member of his Family and offering new insights into one of the 20th century's most notorious criminals and life as one of his "girls".
At age 14, Dianne Lake - with little more than a note in her pocket from her hippie parents granting her permission to leave them - became one of "Charlie's girls", a devoted acolyte of cult leader Charles Manson. Over the course of two years, the impressionable teenager endured manipulation, psychological control, and physical abuse as the harsh realities and looming darkness of Charles Manson's true nature revealed itself. From Spahn ranch and the group acid trips to The Beatles' White Album and Manson's dangerous messiah complex, Dianne tells the riveting story of the group's descent into madness as she lived it.
Though she never participated in any of the group's gruesome crimes and was purposely insulated from them, Dianne was arrested with the rest of the Manson Family and eventually learned enough to join the prosecution's case against them. With the help of good Samaritans, including the cop who first arrested her and later adopted her, the courageous young woman eventually found redemption and grew up to lead an ordinary life.
While much has been written about Charles Manson, this riveting account from an actual Family member is a chilling portrait that recreates in vivid detail one of the most horrifying and fascinating chapters in modern American history.
©2017 Dianne Lake (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Polly Poizendem on 11-18-17

Dianne sets the record straight . . . Finally.


I found it interesting hearing what life was like for Dianne (Snake) growing up as a young hippie child in the 60s, but the part that drew me in the MOST, were the events after she joined The Family. I found myself hating to break away from the story (to do something else), and would often say - okay, just FIVE more minutes. Did that a lot. Lol.

There were MANY surprising little details that I never knew about, and over the years were wrongly attributed to Manson himself - or to others as having said or done. For me, THAT made it all worthwhile. It was great to finally hear something NEW in this case, and not simply the same old rehashing of events, but REAL everyday life at the ranch, and then some! Wow. Very pleased that I gave this one a shot.

I thought Dianne did a pretty decent job with the narration ... and in THIS instance, I WOULD rather listen to it straight from the horses mouth so to speak, than have some sing-songy storytime lady voice. If reading about the Manson case intrigues you, then this is a must-get. Some good juicy stuff in here :)

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23 of 23 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jen on 11-25-17

Riveting Story

The book begins a bit slowly, but the background info Dianne Lake gives is an integral part of her story. Once she gets into her tale of life with Charlie and the girls, it is fascinating in a train wreck kind of way; hard to listen but harder to turn away. As mother of a teen who is about the age she was when she joined the Family, it's horrifying to hear how her parents allowed this to happen. I applaud the author's courage and honesty in revealing her story. I give the performance only three stars as her reading is generally monotone even when describing the most disturbing experiences but I believe this is common for people who have dissociated themselves from a trauma. Highly recommended for anyone interested in 60s counter culture

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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