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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 re-creates 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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  • alan coyle
  • 11-13-17

Outstanding insight<br /><br />

With all the myth and legend that surround the family this reminds you that at the heart of it all was a man controlling and abusing young vulnerable teenagers

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  • Simon
  • 04-03-18

fantastic book

I was so impressed with this book and the author/narrator. Dianne clearly experienced a great deal by the time she was fourteen years old. She has a fascinating story to tell which she does in a very captivating way, she doesn't hold back. She come across as a very thoughtful and grounded person.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-17-18

A Unreal Story that is all too Real

Incredible story , well written & beautifully read. Absolute credit to Dianne Lake for sharing this difficult & deeply personal life experience.This book provides a candid perspective from young 14yo girl being swept up in the counter culture of the 1960's. Hand picked by the notorious cult leader Charles Manson to join the traveling lovein, that lead down a path of drugs & manipulation which was to change the course of history. Take a peak behind the curtain, & hear first hand about a charasmatic narcissist who used others to make his black mark on the world, who 50 years on, still holds a cultral fascination even after death. An absolute must read for those interested in this subject matter.