It’s March and I have just determined my favorite book of 2019. How can I know so early? Because this book is THAT great. The hype is true and real. I want to shout my love from the rooftops, but all I have is this blog.
Okay so first, here is the Goodreads synopsis for some insight:
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.
Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.
Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.
This summary doesn’t even skim the surface of this incredible book. It’s a different kind of narrative style than a regular novel—it was written as an oral history of a fictional band, told by the members through interviews. It was like reading the transcript to an episode of Behind the Music. Some people would be turned off by this style, but I don’t think this story could have been told any other way.
The band and their journey together is very reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac, specifically the time period when they were recording their massively successful album, Rumours. The relationships, the fights, and the success is pulled straight from Fleetwood Mac’s own history, but Taylor Jenkins Reid made these characters her own. This book also reminded me of one of my all time favorite movies, Almost Famous. It centered on young reporter following a band-on-the-rise going on a major tour in the 70’s. Reading about the many famous LA clubs and hotels took me right back to that movie.
The ladies in the novel are the definition of independent women. They know what they want and they aren’t going to settle for anything less. Now, they don’t always display the best judgement, but no one, especially no man, is going to tell them what to do. Daisy Jones perfectly embodies the saying: “Women want to be her, men want to be with her.” She is magnetic, all eyes are drawn to her the moment she walks into the room, and she doesn’t even realize she holds that kind of power. Karen, the keyboardist, isn’t going to bend for any man because she knows she’s talented and she knows the kind of career she wants and deserves. And then we have Camila, Billy’s wife, and she’s a total badass. She knows how it goes when you’re married to a rock star, and as long he is a good husband and a good father, nothing else matters.
It was so fun to have the bandmates giving all the different viewpoints on one situation, or how the two songwriters—Daisy and Billy—would interpret the meaning of a song. The imagery was fantastic. You aren’t getting a lot of prose because it is essentially just our characters telling what happened, but Reid does such an amazing job of painting a picture, it made me feel like I was on that tour bus or in the recording studio with Daisy Jones and The Six.
Reese Witherspoon already has the rights to do a mini series and I can’t fucking wait. God, I really love this book I could just burst! If I could, I would throw a copy of this book into the hands of every person I know. Strangers, even!