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RESTLESS SOULS by Alisa R. Statman


The Sharon Tate Family's Account of Stardom, the Manson Murders, and a Crusade for Justice

by Alisa R. Statman & Brie Tate

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-200804-6
Publisher: It Books/HarperCollins

Unsavory account of the suffering of Sharon Tate’s family in the aftermath of her murder and her mother Doris' and sister Patti's subsequent rise to national prominence as advocates of victims' rights.

It would be impossible not to feel sympathy for the Tate family following the horrifying events of 1969. After witnessing the murders of three of her friends, Tate, who was eight months pregnant at the time of her death, was hanged and fatally stabbed. Unfortunately, this book by Statman and Brie Tate, Sharon’s niece, is luridly exploitative and shrilly self-righteous. It may be unfair to ascribe less-than-saintly motives to any member of the Tate family, who arguably have the right to tell (and sell) their story in any way they choose, but it’s difficult to imagine what noble purpose is served by lingering over Sharon's dying words or the exact dimensions of her stab wounds. The authors would likely argue that emphasizing the killers' savagery is crucial to securing the public's opposition to their release. Throughout the book, Statman and Tate shift perspectives and time so much that readers will become disoriented. Furthermore, the prose is overly cliché-ridden—e.g., Sharon's eyes “twinkle with the faith of her dreams”; her parents were both “as set in their ways as a grape stain to white pants and equally as stubborn”; “their love was as preserved and age-worn as a pressed rose hidden in a Bible”; cancer is “a thief in the night.” Indeed, many sentences read like bad translations: “My inflamed opinion may have a biased tone, but the hippie trend is not my favorite culture.” The authors' most laudable goal is to pay tribute to Sharon's mother, Doris. Though some readers will disagree with her politics, she was also an admirably determined person who channeled her grief and rage into decades of service to others. Horrifies more often than it enlightens. Not recommended.