Monday, January 25, 2021

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Reviewed by Kristin

Imagine being in the middle of the hottest rock band in the seventies—let’s say a group like The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, or Led Zeppelin. With some bands’ meteoric rise to fame, all too many musicians go on the road chased by adoring fans, start popping a few pills (or worse,) and begin to see themselves as invincible. This familiar story is freshly told in an achingly poignant voice in Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

The story begins with a description of Daisy Jones’ childhood. Her father is a well-known painter and her mother a French model, and they continue to live their lives as they had before parenthood, occasionally remembering that they have a daughter. Soon enough, teenage Daisy is making her way into the party scene of L.A, where everyone loves the young and the beautiful. And Daisy is beautiful, with thick red hair and the bluest of blue eyes. Not to mention, she has the purest, completely untrained singing voice. Daisy sings from the depths of herself, seemingly without effort. It is inevitable that Daisy will connect with the The Six, a band started by brothers Billy and Graham Dunne. When she does, sparks fly.

Billy is the acknowledged leader of The Six, and is none too sure about bringing Daisy into the group. Music fans and tabloid journalists question whether they are secretly a couple, or do they hate each other? The “truth” is ferreted out through a series of interviews by someone who is writing a history of the band at least three decades after the band broke up in 1979. Told through many voices and many points of view, the “author” has compiled an oral history of this mysterious band. Family, friends, and bandmates are intertwined as the complexities of their relationships are revealed. The audiobook version really brings the characters to life as it was recorded by different narrators for each voice.

The book is amazing enough, but now a television miniseries is being produced by Amazon. Reese Witherspoon promoted the novel with her book club, and is also one of the executive producers of the screen adaptation. Throw in the fact that Riley Keough—Elvis’ granddaughter—will portray Daisy, and I’m sold.

Christy also reviewed this book  soon after the release in 2019. Like her, I wanted to hear the band’s music, and remained disappointed that they did not actually exist in 1970s rock history. Instead I kept imagining Fleetwood Mac style songs. Wikipedia says that the author was partly inspired by seeing Fleetwood Mac performances on television, so I must have picked up on her subconscious vibes.

Read the book. I’m willing to bet that you’ll be wishing Daisy Jones & The Six were real too.

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