- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 12 hours and 31 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
- Audible.com Release Date: November 2, 2017
- Language: English
- ASIN: B076DN33T5
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Member of the Family
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In the PBS show, one point made is that the Haight-Ashbury District was teeming with young kids on their own. In light of current sex abuse scandals & the high incidence of pedophilia, I wondered how many of those vulnerable kids were escaping molesting environments and dysfunctional homes. Turns out my suspicions were correct with this history; Dianne Lane provides a very personal recollection of being a 14 year-old in 1967, in the LA and San Francisco area. Dianne’s heartbreaking family experience and her courageous portrayal sheds light on how kids need safe structure in their lives. Neither she or Manson had healthy upbringings and they intertwined in a perfect storm of deadly chaos. (At the very least known, Manson was burdened with abandonment, uprooting and deep shame at age 4 or 5 with his teenage mother’s imprisonment. He was sent into the Catholic school system thereafter.)
Dianne is the narrator of her own account and she has a pleasing voice; she speaks clearly and the book is written with great focus and care. She shares the thoughts of a normal, young teen trying to navigate life with normal, early teenage drives and needs. Unfortunately, she was let down by the adults who surrounded her. I hope the insight in these books & programs available to the public, along with the daily increasing voices of women & men who’ve survived sexual abuse will make great change in how children are treated. We need to make less predators and we need to make less vulnerable kids. I believe it takes great courage to expose a personal history like this; I hope it makes a lasting imprint into our culture. I highly recommend this book to all parents, all adults and all abuse survivors. I deeply thank Dianne Lane for sharing her life.
The accounts of her young life were gripping and at times very painful to read. She is only four years older than me and I had a very hard time reconciling her experiences with my own. Even though my sister and I endured the immaturity of the bad marriage that was the backdrop of our family life, my parents were very good parents who offered us an almost idyllic childhood. While Dianne's parents introduced her to hard drugs, my parents took me to Disney World and bought me Barbie dolls and Nancy Drew mysteries. It's very hard for me to wrap my head around the total lack of regard and care her parents offered her and her siblings. That she has been able to forgive them truly speaks to her Christian character. I truly feel that even today they deserve to be held accountable for their poor decisions, unthinkable selfishness and lousy parenting. Though her life with Charles Manson was obviously horrific, her parents disregard that set her on that path disturbed me more than anything else I read in this book.
Speaking of being held accountable, I never realized that Dianne existed in the trials or that she was so instrumental in linking Leslie Van Houten to the second night of murders. While she was approved by the parole board this time, it is my hope that Leslie and Patricia Krenwinkle, and of course Charles Manson and Tex Watson, spend the rest of their natural lives in prison. It is not so hard to understand why an impressionable young girl in a tragic family situation such as Dianne's could be taken in by Charles Manson. Still, she had the wherewithal even at her young age not to buy into the violence and the hate. That the others did, in my opinion, is on them and they deserve to pay for it. Leslie more than most came from a good background where she was well cared for and well liked. She had other options and clearly made a personal choice to be where she was doing what she did. She does not need to be unleashed on the world ever.
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