Review: The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher

This is my first time reading any book by Carrie Fisher, and I will be honest, I am coming out of the experience with mixed emotions, which is not something that I expected. I ordered the book full of excitement over finally getting to read a book by Carrie Fisher, even if, perhaps, my priorities were a bit off by choosing to read it only after she passed away. I received the book in the mail with a sense of awe that I was holding the much wished-for book in my hands finally, and I started it the very same day (which is quite out of character for me, as the act of owning a book is quite as much fun for me as reading them, so I frequently just stash them away on a shelf until months or years later).

Now, 4 days later, though, I feel as though I’ve just gotten off of the world’s longest and most emotional roller coaster, and I’m not quite sure how to feel about my experience. Full disclosure, I also have Bipolar Disorder, so in the way that Carrie Fisher writes, in that it is often disjointed and jumps around from idea to idea and is not always totally on topic, I saw a lot of myself and felt as if I had found a kindred spirit. Especially in her journal writing, which reminded me much of how I write in my journal. Journal entries that make the most sense only to the person who they are written for, in the moment in which they are written – full of whatever intense emotion is being felt at that particular moment. The journal entries were, by far, my favorite part of the whole book. I felt they were raw and full of emotion, and while I cannot claim to have understood all of what was going on, I understood enough to know that it was a great privilege to have been invited into that private space.

My mixed feelings really come from, I suppose, feeling as if suddenly my hero, my idol, this person who I knew was not perfect, yet somehow assumed anyway was without flaw, in fact, was drastically more human than I assumed, and had rough edges. And those rough edges showed in her writing. Her human side showed in her writing…in her frustration at times with being so iconic. In her frustration with autograph sessions, which she looks down upon extremely condescendingly for almost a whole chapter of the book. My rose-colored glasses have been ripped off, and now I see her as a real person, with real emotions, and real problems and real needs, and suddenly I feel a sense of loss. That gloss is gone, and I am reeling trying to decide if this is good or bad.

As far as the book itself goes, it is a good book. It is an honest book. It deals rather honestly, but not in an explicit way with her affair with Harrison Ford. She is a forthright person, but does not necessarily kiss and tell, which is charming. I don’t think that every single explicit detail is necessary. I would not recommend it to anyone who is going to be offended by the fact that she had the affair, though. It is not a surprise ending or anything…there are no spoilers here. She is frank about it and apologetic in her own way, but she also tells it like it is, because it happened, and that cannot be undone now.

I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

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