Monday, May 25, 2020

The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher

Title: The Princess Diarist
Author: Carrie Fisher
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 2.5 Stars

This last book from beloved Hollywood icon Carrie Fisher is the crown jewel of ideal Star Wars gifts. The Princess Diarist is an intimate, hilarious, and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time.

When Carrie Fisher discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Before her passing, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon was indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a teenager with an all-consuming crush on her costar, Harrison Ford. 

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into one of Hollywood's most beloved stars.

I don't talk about this a lot on my blog, but I adore Star Wars.  And I really, really, really love Carrie Fisher, both as a person and as Princess Leia.  Princess Leia and Chewbacca are my favorite characters in the Star Wars Universe.  That being said, I found this book more disappointing than I thought I would. 

I always feel like I don't know what to say when talking about someone's autobiographies.  A book written by a person about their life is deeply personal, and putting your story out there for the world can be challenging.  But, I do have some thoughts about this book.

#1. I really thought this book would focus more on Star Wars, and more about Carrie's life playing Princess Leia.  But the Star Wars aspect of the book was more background noise.  The primary focus of the story was Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford having an affair during the filming of the first film.

#2. It is super obvious that Carrie did have, as the description of this book said, "youthful naivete."  She gets into this thing with Harrison, knowing it's just an affair, knowing that, per his request, they are never going to talk about it.  But she keeps these journals, and has these thoughts about her affair with Harrison, that point to the fact that she probably wishes they had more.  I found that frustrating - because she knew they'd never be together, but as they aged, she'd slip in comments like "Maybe now we'll get back together...."

#3. I was a bit shocked that people didn't realize Carrie had some mental health struggles during this time.  Her journals really hinted at a lot of mania, in my opinion.  I only point this out because I really wish that someone had noticed her struggles earlier and been able to offer more help for her. 

Like I said, I love Carrie Fisher, I adore her, but my ultimate point is, I wish this book would have been less about her affair with Harrison and more about her actual time and struggles and life filming Star Wars. 

If you've read this book, what did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below.

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