In its original airing, Twin Peaks gripped viewers in a way that not many TV series are capable of. How else do you explain the cult success it’s achieved today? Thanks to a well-written “whodunit” hook and unique casting choices, David Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost proved to be masters at creating suspense. At the center of this suspense was Laura Palmer, the town’s “favorite daughter” and Homecoming Queen whose mysterious death would serve as a catalyst for the entire show. Right from the beginning viewers were left with more questions than answers. Who was Laura really? Why was she killed and left, wrapped in plastic, down by the river? Who killed her?
Our only clue was Laura’s diary, revealed in the pilot episode… but as it turns out that’s not the only diary Laura kept. There was also a secret diary. Uncovered in Season 2, Episode 4, Laura’s secret diary revealed much more about the character and her supernatural tormentor (BOB). Five days before that Season 2, however, Jennifer Lynch (David’s daughter) published a companion novel: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer.
It reads exactly how the title indicates, as if you’re reading her diary starting on her 12th birthday and progressing until the day before her life is taken. Essentially, we’re getting a glance at Laura’s life over the course of 5 years with all the information you’d expect from a personal account of someone’s life… first kiss, discovering boys, trying pot, even details on Laura’s cocaine addiction. However, as you read it, you begin to discover you aren’t reading the book hidden under her bed. This reads more like the police evidence version. Laura’s killer knew about this diary, obviously, and BOB’d around through it, removing pages that would protect his interest. Notes are also added, pointing out what pages are missing.
Jennifer Lynch nails the feeling that you’re invasively thumbing through someone’s diary, which makes it both creepy and utterly impossible to put down. There’s some really personal notes, concerns of her first menstrual cycle and bits of poetry here and there with overtones of a certain character’s sexual abuse. Without a doubt this book does a great job of making the Twin Peaks universe feel real.
OUT OF 5
If you’re re-watching the series, or out to experience it for the first time, the best time to read this book is literally right after Season 1 as it serves a nice bridge between the two seasons. Not all, but a lot of the entries are brought up and mentioned throughout the Season 2.
+ Feels real
+ Easy Read
+ Nice prelude to Season 2
– Entries written by 12-yr old
– Pointless content