Review: “Daisy Jones and The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I loved loved LOVED Daisy Jones and The Six. I’d always see copies of it floating around at the library for years and wondered what the big deal was about. Well, after reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I was curious to see what else Taylor Jenkins Reid had in store. So I hybrid read this on audiobook and with a physical copy. And y’all, it was so worth listening to on audio—hello, Judy Greer is Karen! Anyway, Daisy Jones and The Six is such an absorbing story about love and addiction and redemption that I just *had* to hop onto here and babble about it.

Loosely inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the book is an oral history of the titular fictional famous 70’s band that broke up for a seemingly unspecified reason. In form alone, Daisy Jones and The Six is such a fascinating book, since it reads more like a play as opposed to a conventional novel with a balance between narration and dialogue. Here, it’s all dialogue, as the band members talk to the author who’s collecting their stories. The novel is compelling in its exploration of what truth is — different band members will have different accounts of what happened to everyone in the late 70’s. Because of memory and discretion, no one’s *really* telling the full truth — that’s more of something you have to glean in between the lines. This fun, accessible style also allows Reid to dig deep into these colorful characters and make you care about them, even if they ostensibly seem selfish or terrible.

The book is primarily centered on the tension between Daisy and Billy, a Stevie Nicks-esque wild child icon on the rise and a recovering addict who steers his band with a tight hand. Their chemistry makes for amazing music, but it also complicates things in the band and in their personal lives, especially as Billy prioritizes his sobriety and his family. To reiterate, we get the lowdown on what caused the band to ultimately fracture in the late ‘70s…a lot of it has to do with Billy and Daisy, but we also see how little resentments (that turn into explosive confrontations) develop elsewhere within the band.

This book made me think a lot about love. How it flickers between passion and commitment. How it can be present but fall short in the face of what someone needs. How it ties into the idea of performance, not only on the stage for the band as they play for thousands but also in life at large as people navigate rigid (often gendered) social expectations on how love should work. How it can be imperfect but still strong. How the timing can be all wrong for the right person.

It’s so easy for a project like this to turn schmaltzy, but Daisy Jones and The Six is as emotionally evocative and cathartic as pure unadulterated rock and roll, baby! Just kidding. But not really. I don’t do starred reviews but this is a five out of five for me, folks. 

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