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The Princess Diarist
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message 1: by Bonnie G. (last edited May 30, 2017 08:22AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bonnie G. (narshkite) | 1274 comments Mod
Yesterday I binge-watched Season 3 of Catastrophe, Carrie Fisher's last work in this earthly realm. The episode actually dealt with death, one of the main characters loses her father. That perhaps made it more painful. But the thing is I actually felt authentic sadness for the loss of this woman. I am not a Star Wars fan (at.all!) She was just such a unique and giving and funny soul. So few people are just who they are without pretense, and most who are that way are singularly unpleasant because their iconoclastic demeanor is borne of narcissism rather than honesty. Carrie Fisher was one righteous broad. I consider her a role model.

It is for that reason that I was incredibly disappointed to not fully enjoy this book. The beginning was super fun. I immediately felt like I was out for a gossipy lunch with a good friend. Then it turned into a different lunch. It turned into that lunch with the friend who his still talking through her feelings about breaking up with her college boyfriend and the way she felt in 4th grade when her father told her she looked fat. You smile slightly in an encouraging slightly melancholy way, and nod and think about how long you must wait until you make a polite excuse and get out of Dodge.

Overall I still had fun with the book. I would have loved if she had written a Harrison essay and then moved on. I also would have liked if she had excised the diary portions. the first one was amusing and instructive, but after that it was sort of uncomfortable and dull.

I did appreciate the in your face discussion of how we define women by their bodies, and about the common truth of body dysmorphia among girls and women. Much of that resonated with me.


Alicia | 331 comments I loved it. I do totally agree with you about the friend who is still talking through her feelings about breaking up with her college boyfriend, but I still loved it.

I am too far down a bottle of wine to express properly, but I will try in the morning when I am caffeinated and hydrated.


Alicia (thebeeka) | 42 comments I really agree with your lunch analogy but I feel totally the opposite about the sections of the book. I thought the diary entries were so poetic and the non-diary sections were written in such a cringe inducing style. So hacky. I almost stopped reading the book before I got to the diary portion because I could not take it.


Carolyn | 6 comments I really liked it, but do agree the diary component was over-user/over-shared (and admit to some skimming through this portion). I think there was value to the diary portions - the Star Wars scandalous secret bit is certainly a draw for some - but what I found more revealing is the underlying character traits the entries revealed. How overwhelming it would have been for a 19-year old with a limited support network to be in that position, both professionally and romantically, and how it was both a result and a contributing factor to the various self-image/dependency issues Fisher faced.


Bonnie G. (narshkite) | 1274 comments Mod
Carolyn wrote: "I really liked it, but do agree the diary component was over-user/over-shared (and admit to some skimming through this portion). I think there was value to the diary portions - the Star Wars scanda..."

I felt the same way entirely. I just wished she had moved on more to the aftereffects of that confusion and pain. So many of us chased after men (or boys) who in retrospect we didn't much like, and lost pieces of ourselves in the process. This is a rich topic, I just wanted her to get to the part where we muddle through and regain those lost pieces, or find new pieces to fit into the now bigger holes.


message 6: by Amy (new)

Amy (xj2608) I...didn't finish the book. All I could think of when I was reading the book was that Carrie Fisher must have been EXHAUSTING to be around. Funny, yes. But exhausting. I would imagine that's how a lot of actors are - always at the center of a drama, even if they have to create one themselves.

On top of that, it felt like the Harrison Ford relationship just kind of fizzled out or came to a natural conclusion at the end of the film. That seems rather anti-climactic for something that took up 2/3 of the book. Or maybe it was just that she had really wanted to talk about it for 40 years and finally got to do so?

I did like reading a bit about how quickly they all had to react to unexpected celebrity. That seems like it would be more daunting than an affair with an older married man.

I don't know what happened after that part...and tbh, I just skimmed the instant celebrity stuff before I had to return the book to the library.


Allie (allieeveryday) | 112 comments I listened to the audiobook, because I generally love celebrity memoirs, especially if the author is narrating. This one was only four discs, and about halfway through I was wishing that it would go faster so it would be over. I enjoyed the first couple stories, and then the bit about Carrison just went on too long and was too navel-gazing for me, and I lost interest and never got it back. I'm bummed that this one was my intro to Carrie Fisher's writing, because I've heard good things about her other work and now I'm not that interested in checking it out. :(


Bonnie G. (narshkite) | 1274 comments Mod
Allie wrote: "I listened to the audiobook, because I generally love celebrity memoirs, especially if the author is narrating. This one was only four discs, and about halfway through I was wishing that it would g..."

My feelings were similar, but I have read Postcards from the Edge and Surrender the Pink, and both were really funny and enjoyable.


message 9: by Joanie (new) - added it

Joanie (joaniephotos) | 80 comments I absolutely loved the book!

I agree with Bonnie's lunch analogy, but disagree with the idea of listening to your friend prattling on about an old boyfriend.

This is the book people begged Carrie to write. They wanted to hear about her time filming Star Wars and that's precisely what we got. While she might have told some people too much about Harrison or written/included too much from her diary, it was her story to tell and she did it her way.

Frankly, we're hearing the story of a 19 year-old who was struggling with self-esteem/body issues, the first real symptoms of serious mental health issues, and an affair with a co-worker who happened to be married. Given those criteria, I'm surprised it wasn't a total wreck of a story.

You know, with musicals they say when you need to say something you break into song, but when you feel something STRONGLY you dance. For Carrie, she resorted to poetry in her diary. I like that she still had the diaries and turned to them to help tell her story.

By the end of the book, I felt I'd spent a weekend with her, listening to her tales from a hugely important part of her life. While I'm glad to have read the book, I'm also quite sad knowing there won't be any others.

Carrie Fisher was one of a kind.


Katie (faintingviolet) | 88 comments I loved Carrie Fisher, but not this book. Having read a couple other of her books, it felt like a retread in the final third, I found the diary portions hard to deal with, and the first third while interesting felt a little slapdash.


Bonnie G. (narshkite) | 1274 comments Mod
It makes me happy that there are so many opinions here, but that we all agree that we loved Carrie Fisher. She was great.


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