Thursday, February 9, 2017

[Book Review] The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

3.5 STARS 

"If you look at the person someone chooses to have a relationship with, you'll see what they think of themselves."

When I had heard that Carrie Fisher died late in 2016 I was heartbroken. I admit, I'm new (my first Star Wars movie was Force Awakens) to the Star Wars fandom, but I had been following Carrie Fisher for a while. I knew her as a well known great writer, an advocate of openly talking about mental health, and a witty, sharp tongued, and strong woman who spoke her mind without much of an apology. I really admired her. So, once the holidays started to settle down and 2017 was starting I put a request in at my library for her latest book, The Princess Diarist.

"I need to write. It keeps me focused for long enough to complete thoughts. To let each train of thought run to its conclusion and let a new one begin. It keeps me thinking. I'm afraid that if I stop writing I'll stop thinking and start feeling." 

The Princess Diarist wasn't what I expected, but I still really enjoyed it. I expected more of a book about her time being Leia and her new found stardom. Granted, I haven't read her previous books yet so maybe they touch more on that topic. Instead, this book was mostly about her affair with Harrison Ford, one of her costars in the Star Wars franchise. I remember hearing a lot of excitement in the news when this book came out late 2016 because of her admitting that she had a physical relationship with Ford (who was married at the time and 10+ years older than her) and I was interested on hearing more. However, I was a little bummed to realize most of what she talks about in this book is her relationship with him.

 "It's very dangerous to have someone like you, because one day he'll find that you are not the person he thought you were."

One of the things I loved about this book are the pieces of writing in the diary she kept while filming Star Wars. Her writing is beautiful, and this alone was enough for me to look up her other books and write them down so I could request them at my library. I cannot believe that at nineteen years old she was writing such beautiful pieces especially about something like a relationship with an older married man. It was elegant and very poetic.

"We lie buried together during the night and haunt each other by day." 

The other big thing I really enjoyed about this book are the last handful of chapters. She talks about the insanity that is the Star Wars fandom, and although she has this witty humor about her and she pokes fun a little at the extremes, she also talks about how much she appreciates the fans. It was really sweet. It made my eyes tear up, and it made me sad that we have lost her. She also talks about her mother a lot, another person we lost last year. I think reading those last few chapters really made me feel the loss all over again, especially since she writes this autobiography the way she talks. Sharp and unapologetic. A small but great thing I loved about this book was how many times she brought up her dog Gary. It's evident that she loved her dog (who lives with her daughter Billie now) and I liked the small references to him.

"Movies were meant to stay on the screen, flat and large and colorful, gathering you up into their sweep of a story, carrying you rollicking along to the end, then releasing you back into your unchanged life. But this movie misbehaved. It leaked out of the theater, poured off the screen, affected a lot of people so deeply that they required endless talismans and artifacts to stay connected to it."

I highly recommend this book to Carrie Fisher fans, Star Wars fans, or if you want to learn more about her relationship with Harrison Ford. Although I think the topic of her and Ford together went on too long, I can see why she did it. Most of her writings that she found from the time of filming had things to do with him, which is understandable, so that's mostly what the book focuses on. I do hope that her other book Wishful Drinking has more of a autobiography feel to it when it comes to her life. Which I am really interested in.

 Thanks for reading!

 Have you read The Princess Diarist? What about Wishful Drinking? Who is your favorite Star Wars character?