Book Review: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

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It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since Carrie Fisher left this galaxy for one far far away. When you read a book by an author, living or deceased, you try to imagine how they would read their own words, what parts they would emphasize with their tone of voice. Recently, I listened to the audio recording for The Princess Diarist written by Carrie Fisher, and it was an emotional and intense listen to day the least. This book compiles her thoughts on the joy and craziness of being a celebrity, the insanity that comes from being a part of Hollywood royalty and using her own journal entries to give an intimate and revealing look behind the scenes,  from when she was filming the first Star Wars movie. However, what made this audiobook an intense and emotional experience was that the author, Carrie Fisher, was the one narrating and her daughter, Billie Lourd, read her journal entries.

This novel provides an incredibly open look at sides of Carrie Fisher that you might not have known were there just by listening to interviews or watching her movies. There were quiet, troubled and very vulnerable sides to her that she didn’t share with anyone but her journal. As I listened to the story behind her crush and affair with co-star Harrison Ford. While it was interesting to listen to the recanting of “Carrison” as she refers to it in the book, I found myself more interested in listening to her journal entries and her thoughts on being a celebrity.

I think if I had to pick a favorite part of this novel, it would be the journal entries. Not only because it gave great insight into someone who had been my hero since I was a little girl, but also because it helped me realize even more than I thought that she had thoughts and fears similar to thoughts and fears I’ve had through the years. What made these entries more poignant was listening to Billie Lourd read the thoughts and feelings of her mother at age 19.

After her journal entries, you’re taken on a winding road of stories from when Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill & Harrison Ford were doing promo for the first movie, into some of the things fans have said to her while she has done signing appearances. While you hear her say these short little conversations, you start to think, oh god, I’ve said that at cons and I have to make a mental note to myself to not sound this awkward. But never the less even if we tell ourselves not to babble when we meet a celebrity or hero from our childhood, it will most likely happen anyway. These tidbits lead into wonderful stories about her mother, and even more stories including Carrie Fisher’s thoughts on signing autographs for money, or what she called “celebrity lap dances”.

The insight in this book into the mind and life of Carrie Fisher is one that I could talk about for hours, but I know I could not do it justice. So, instead I am going to recommend with the highest gusto that you read this book, and if you can listen to the audiobook. With the last movie Carrie Fisher made coming out, and it being a Star Wars movie, this audiobook is a way that you can listen to her words not just saying that favorite line from that favorite movie, but it is almost like sitting and listening to a conversation with her.