Erin Wilson, Features Writer

Review: Daisy Jones & The Six By Taylor Jenkins Reid

C’mon now, honey
Let yourself think about it
Can you really live without it?

Whenever I read a book I always pick a favourite quote that either sums up the book for me or really resonates with me, this was my pick for Daisy Jones & The Six, taken from one of their songs mentioned in the book called, ‘This Could Get Ugly’.

The novel is an oral history, almost written as biography. Although there is some inspiration taken from the band Fleetwood Mac, specifically Stevie Nicks, the story of Daisy Jones & The Six is purely fictional.

The book follows the rise of a rock band throughout the 1970s as they blossom from LA. It is written purely in dialogue; the band members are interviewed 40 years after their sudden break-up in 1979 to discover the truth behind the downfall of the biggest rock band of the 70s.

Before reading Daisy Jones & The Six, I had only read one of Reid’s other books, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Whilst this was met with critical acclaim, her latest work was met with mixed reviews, and so I was anxious.

Anxiety did not feature, once I had started this book. Instead I felt anticipation, excitement, and suspense as I raced to the end, and finished the story within two days of picking it up. The experience was then enriched by the audiobook, made by Penguin Publishing. With a full cast selected by Taylor Jenkins Reid herself, this was the way to fully enjoy the story and glean all its ups and downs.

While Taylor Jenkins Reid clearly has a flare for perfectly crafting a story – just as she portrays the rise and fall of this rock ‘n’ roll band, so she tells of the rise and fall of the relationships that held it together – she also has a flare for description. In The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo it’s for the boom of cinema and the glamour of Hollywood; in Daisy Jones & The Six it’s for the culture of ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll’, with a natural focus on the music. The description of music in this book was so powerful that by the end of the book I was desperate to listen to the band! Instead I settled for Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album.

My connection to the story was so strong that when it was finished I could do nothing but think about it, and wanted to go right back to page one to relive it.

Reid does an excellent job by not limiting herself to one genre. Her books range from drama to romance, and mystery to history. This story also covers important themes that deeply affect the characters, to the point where the reader themselves become affected.

There is discussion of addiction, as well as relationships throughout the novel. As was the norm with the rock ‘n’ roll culture of the 70s, the characters in Daisy Jones regularly engage with nights fuelled by drinking, drugs and toxic relationships that are at times addictive.

These topics succeed in adding dimension to the characters; they are placed in situations where they must choose between what they want, and what is right, and this constant dichotomy not only creates great angst in the book, it makes the writing electric.