“The truth often lies, unclaimed, in the middle” (3).
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo) is an adult historical fictional novel that pieces together the story of how a fictional 1970s rock band, Daisy Jones & The Six, rose to become one of the greatest rock bands in the world, and how they fell (not a spoiler. The book starts out this way).
Now, this is my first Taylor Jenkins Reid novel. I’ve heard quite a bit about her previous novel, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and how great it is, but it never really peaked my interest. Daisy Jones did. Once I found out that Daisy Jones and The Six was inspired by Fleetwood Mac, specifically the relationship between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, I knew I HAD to read this book.
I love classic rock. I love rock documentaries. Daisy Jones and The Six is everything I could’ve wanted. The story is told as an oral history (it’s all dialogue) between members of the band, close friends, producers, managers, etc., as they reflect on the past and what they can remember from 40 years ago.
The format is unlike anything I’ve ever read in fiction, and it’s brilliant. You never know who is telling the whole truth, who is holding back, or who is outright lying. It’s up to you as the reader to piece everything together and decide for yourself.
Some people might not like reading a book that’s told in an interview format, but when a story is about the rise and fall of a 1970s rock band, it makes sense. Daisy Jones and The Six is like reading the transcript from VH1’s Behind the Music, or any rock documentary for that matter, and I am all for it.
Give me the nostalgia!
Of course, with any story about a rock band, there are going to be issues with drug addictions, alcoholism, and sex, but Taylor Jenkins Reid never romanticizes them. These issues are told in a raw and real way, just as these characters feel raw and real as they tell the narrative. I will say that Daisy Jones and the members of The Six are not the most likeable characters, and some of the decisions they make will certainly anger some, but I still found myself rooting for them even though I knew what was coming.
It’s hard to believe Daisy Jones and The Six aren’t a real band. The way each of the characters come together to form the band, the way they work together on their album, write lyrics, and perform on tour, you honestly believe you’re reading a rock biography instead of historical fiction. You want to listen to their Aurora album at the end, only to realize—oh, yeah—it doesn’t exist!
Since Daisy Jones and The Six is an oral history, and it’s all dialogue, the writing is flawless. Normally, we’re told to show instead of tell, but this is the one case where telling works for the narrative. I didn’t have any issues picturing what was going on in the story. There are author’s notes at the beginning of each section to inform you of where the character’s are in the setting, and then it’s back to the interview. Taylor Jenkins Reid lets the characters paint the scene for you as they remember it.
The writing for this novel is easily five stars, and I enjoyed this story, I really did, but…I’m not blown away by it like so many others are.
Maybe it’s because I knew from the beginning that this band was going to split up. There was so much build up to that moment, I was ready for something huge to go down, and then…it didn’t.
It was pretty anticlimactic. I couldn’t help but think, this is it? If the break-up had been left a secret, I think it would’ve had more of an impact on me.
There’s also an issue with infidelity, which I can’t get behind, but that’s just personal preference.
Content warning: drug addiction, alcoholism, abortion
Daisy Jones and The Six
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. While I loved reading about the rise of a fictional 1970s rock band that not only felt real but made me want to go out and buy their music, I found myself wanting more from the fall. It all ended too abruptly, and I was disappointed. The writing is spectacular, though, and if you didn’t know about Fleetwood Mac before, you’ll want to now.
What do you think? Am I crazy for not absolutely loving it?
Let me know in the comments!