They were the new icons of rock and roll, fated to burn bright and not fade away.
But on 12 July 1979, it all came crashing down.
There was Daisy, rock and roll force of nature, brilliant songwriter and unapologetic drug addict, the half-feral child who rose to superstardom.
There was Camila, the frontman’s wife, too strong-willed to let the band implode – and all too aware of the electric connection between her husband and Daisy.
There was Karen, ice-cool keyboardist, a ferociously independent woman in a world that wasn’t ready for her.
And there were the men surrounding them: the feuding, egotistical Dunne brothers, the angry guitarist chafing on the sidelines, the drummer binge-drinking on his boat, the bassist trying to start a family amid a hedonistic world tour. They were creative minds striking sparks from each other, ready to go up in flames.
It’s never just about the music…
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a phenomenal contemporary novel that is easy to be drawn into and obsess over long after it is finished.
Set in the 1970s, the book is written in an interview style, with no descriptions other than brief clippings from articles. From the characters’ perspectives it is explained how the band formed and why they decided to break up. It was a very realistic way of presenting the story as it has the reader mourning a fictional band.
A noticeable part of the story was how the characters sometimes remembered events in their past differently. These at times stemmed from big arguments the group had to small details like Karen remembering Camila wearing a yellow top to Billy believing she wore a white one.
The fun part is it is up to the reader to choose who they believe. The book can be interpreted in different ways and not everyone will like the same characters. This made it quite life-like as a lot of the times people will have favourite band members or agree with someone because they share the same beliefs.
Author Jenkins Reid wrote the story in chronological order, starting in the final years of the 1960s. Daisy Jones, during those early days, comes across as young, naive and seems a little bit lost with her self and her life. Billy and Graham Dunne began forming their band, The Six, around the same time.
Readers get an insight into how each individual being interviewed developed before, during and after their successful careers. At the end there is a twist, that is perfectly impossible to predict because as you are reading the novel it is never revealed until the final chapter who is conducting all of these interviews.
There are several themes that may not be to everyone’s taste. It deals with severe drug and alcohol addiction. The author carefully demonstrates how some people may be able to manage their consumption while others have more of a hard time doing so. It is clear to see how easily they could get drugs too, as they were the biggest stars and people around them constantly were throwing lavish parties.
It is alluded throughout that some of the characters had affairs and some segments of the interview even shows one member gossiping about who they believed Karen was sleeping with during their “Aurora” album days at the height of their fame. Moments like these added some lightheartedness to the darker storylines.
The characters that really stood out the most were the three female characters, Daisy, Karen and Camila, as well as Billy Dunne.
Billy, a member of the Six, has had a difficult past but throws his life into his music and his family. While he, like all of the characters are flawed, and throughout the book you may question his actions, it becomes clear in the end why he acted the way he did in his interviews.
His relationship with every character is important as he is the ringleader. One of the most dramatic and saddening bonds in the entire plot is his and Daisy’s, as they are in sync musically but have a tense and turbulent relationship outside of the band.
Daisy suffers a lot throughout the novel but appears to the world to be the most confident. She is a likeable character but it is difficult at times to see her struggle on a day-to-day basis with her drug addiction. Her friendship with Simone, who constantly fights for her, was a nice touch to the story.
Karen could easily have been sidelined as a minor character but she turned out to be a very significant part of the story. She shows that women can make their own choices about their future, without justifying it to anyone. Karen is also aware of how women were perceived in the 1970s and calls out sexism as and when she sees it.
Camila Dunne, Billy’s wife, is a difficult character to understand. She appears to be controlling at times but everyone loves her. She is kind and patient with all of the band members, especially her husband. One of her best quotes summed her up perfectly: “I think you have to have faith in people before they earn it. Otherwise it’s not faith, right?”
Camila is an interesting character to include in the book as she demonstrates what it’s like to live with someone who’s entire life is rock and roll. She also was supportive of the others, even when it seemed difficult for her to be, which made her a special part of the story.
The music is something as readers we never hear but it is impossible to not fall in love with every song the band produces. It was exciting to see their record go from start to finish and witness the reactions to their final product.
Actress Reese Witherspoon recently announced she will be turning the book into a new TV series on Amazon so it is exciting that fans of the book will get the chance to hear all of the songs – including “Aurora” and “Honeycomb”. The author really did manage to create a world that seemed impossible not to be true as she also added all of their songs at the back of the novel.
Daisy Jones and The Six is one of those iconic books that can be reread over and over again and it still won’t be enough. It is a brilliant, emotional and unforgettable story that everyone must read.
Have you read Daisy Jones and The Six yet? Let us know your thoughts below or Tweet @bookwormgirl_24