Book Review: The Princess Diarist

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Stars: 3.5 out of 5.

Reading autobiography type books is9780399173592_custom-4ad32be0078bbd96523707c7a34fe7041a170269-s400-c85 usually not my repertoire of reading. It has to be a certain person or a specific topic to really pull me in to make the purchase and then commit to reading the book. I’ve only read a few other autobiography books: RENT’s Anthony Rapp memoir Without You and some of Hope Solo’s book entitle Solo. With the recent passing of Star Wars icon, Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher. I found myself mesmerized by the sudden life of a woman who became a motivation for women and later a champion for mental health. I was most interested in reading about her time on the Star Wars set and, of course, her affair with Harrison Ford aka Han Solo. If you’ve seen Wishful Drinking or any kind of interview with Carrie, there is one thing that I’ve noticed about her. She was a chatty yet sarcastic writer. Her thoughts jumped all over the place. The one thing that I really love about Carrie’s writing is you really get a sense of how complicated she truly was.

Carrie was honest in her writing about her 19-year-old self and what she went through adapting to the fame from being the only woman on a male-dominated set to adapting to the crazy Comic Con life of signing autographs for fans. The one thing that this book went into detail about, rather vaguely, was the affair with co-star Harrison Ford. The story of their affair is just tragic. Carrie writes that Harrison was a quiet man. He seemed to not say much while Carrie’s thoughts were wild with love and devotion for him. It was evident in her rambling thoughts that she wanted to know if he loved her the way she obviously loved him. I did not come into this book expecting a grandiose fairytale love story. However, what I was met with was just a sad, tragic affair.

Her diary entries are presented in the book, however, they do not really offer any major details to the affair. It was a slow climb to the meat of the story and just dropped off. I think Carrie wrote it this way because 1) this affair happened 40 years ago, and 2) I do not think Carried published this narrative in an effort to hurt Harrison. Some  of the diary entries hint a little that she was filming Star Wars while some of them were just poems and ramblings of a 19-year-old in love having an affair with a married man. I found myself flipping rather quickly through the entries. It was evident in this book that Carried did not know how to handle the success of Star Wars.

Once she is finished talking about the affair, Carrie writes about the fans she meets at conventions, outings, and how she felt about them as well as her character Princess Leia. This section of the book just fell flat for me. While, a huge part of being a celebrity is pleasing the fan base, Carrie details that some of the interactions really took a toll on her.

The Princess Diarest is a decent but quick read. It is not the best written book. Yet, it is a sad read, especially knowing this is the last book Carrie Fisher wrote. This book immortalizes a legend and her thoughts.

Rest in Peace, Carrie Fisher.

-Elizabeth R. Webb

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