Book review: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer


Thanks to the help of my bloggy friends, and particularly Deb of Carrots and Kids, I ended up choosing The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as our secret diary of laura palmerbook group book for this month. So far I’m 37% of the way through (thank you Kindle for that information) and it’s terrific, I’m really glad I chose it.

Another book I enjoyed but couldn’t face selling to book group is The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, which was sent to me recently for review. This is a re-issue of a spin off book from the Twin Peaks TV series. I was a huge fan of the series when it first aired, and have been watching it again recently, so was looking forward to revisiting the book too.

It’s very odd and unsettling returning to a book like this many years after having originally read it – though that’s appropriate, since odd and unsettling was Twin Peaks’ USP.

I don’t remember much about reading it first time round, other than that I galloped through it pretty quickly. This time, it felt like a much tougher read.

The story starts with 12 year old Laura, whose life very quickly takes a tumble into sex, drugs and violence. And this time round, reading it as the mother of a 12 year old, it’s kind of hard to take. The book is more violent and more sexually explicit than I remember, but then maybe I am just more sensitive to that kind of thing nowadays.

meeting log lady twin peaksTwenty years after it first aired, the cult of Twin Peaks still has a loyal following. The yearly US Twin Peaks convention still takes place, and there’s now a Twin Peaks UK festival which has just had its second gathering.

I went to the first UK festival and met the legendary Log Lady (seen here with teeny tiny log, and me with cherry pie). It was interesting to see how many people there were too young to have seen the show when it started.

So for the new generation of Peakies, this book is a must read. Written by David Lynch’s daughter Jennifer, it’s a prequel of Laura Palmer’s life before the events depicted in the TV show. I don’t think it’s over-spoiling to reveal that she dies in the end, and inevitably this casts a shadow over the whole book.

The new edition features separate forewords from Twin Peaks creators Mark Frost and David Lynch. Frost’s is the more illuminating, whilst the enigmatic Lynch doesn’t give much away.

The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer (Simon & Schuster) is available now in paperback and Kindle formats.