Sunday Book Review – Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye

It was disheartening to learn that Carrie Fisher had passed and the very next day her dearly loved mom, Debbie Reynolds died after her. No doubt after watching a heartfelt special on TV, a docudrama, ‘Bright Lights’ featuring Carrie and Debbie, and their wonderful mother/daughter relationship that Debbie’s heart could never mend after the loss of her daughter.

 

I watched that documentary a week after the two passed away and then I felt compelled to read one of Carrie’s memoirs she had written 8 years before she died, Wishful Drinking. Below you will find my review:

Wishful Drinking

 

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Blurb:

 

Finally, after four hit novels, Carrie Fisher comes clean (well, sort of ) with the crazy truth that is her life in her first-ever memoir.

In Wishful Drinking, adapted from her one-woman stage show, Fisher reveals what it was really like to grow up a product of “Hollywood in-breeding,” come of age on the set of a little movie called Star Wars, and become a cultural icon and bestselling action figure at the age of nineteen.

Intimate, hilarious, and sobering, Wishful Drinking is Fisher, looking at her life as she best remembers it (what do you expect after electroshock therapy?). It’s an incredible tale: the child of Hollywood royalty — Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher — homewrecked by Elizabeth Taylor, marrying (then divorcing, then dating) Paul Simon, having her likeness merchandized on everything from Princess Leia shampoo to PEZ dispensers, learning the father of her daughter forgot to tell her he was gay, and ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed.

Wishful Drinking, the show, has been a runaway success. Entertainment Weekly declared it “drolly hysterical” and the Los Angeles Times called it a “Beverly Hills yard sale of juicy anecdotes.” This is Carrie Fisher at her best — revealing her worst. She tells her true and outrageous story of her bizarre reality with her inimitable wit, unabashed self-deprecation, and buoyant, infectious humor.

 

My 5 Star Review

 

This isn’t your average book of fairytales about a child growing up in Hollywood fame. In an era where Fisher’s parents were both becoming legends of their times, Fisher begins with stories, which let us peek into windows of her life as she bares her raw self through adulthood. She takes us into her life with her stories about her dysfunctional childhood and despite the dysfunction shares her treasured memories growing up with a mother she adored, some of the glamor, but mostly how having a stage mother left her wanting more time with her mother, and the fallout from some of the wrong choices her mother made with her choice in relationships.

 

Fisher unabashedly takes us through her own rise to fame, later diagnosed with mental illness, what broke her, what healed her, and through it all she wears her smile of courage through her humor which no doubt became her shield helping her get through some of her weakest moments.

 

I laughed at some of her quirky analogies and appreciated the candor. If you enjoy stories of becoming and overcoming and are compassionate, you’ll love this book.