Now that the disclaimer has been made, I have to express how happy I am to have discovered Taylor Jenkins Reid. Well - happy might not be the right word because her books always leave me emotionally destroyed for other books and people. This time it was a book she came out with this year, 'Daisy Jones & The Six'.
First off I need to say that I don’t really read historical fiction, and never go near that shelf, but reading about why the biggest rock ‘n’ roll band of the ‘60s fell apart at the peak of its career sounds intriguing. Especially for a person whose headphones are an integral part of their ears (like me). Before I read this book, I was scared that my love for her previous masterpiece ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ would leave me disappointed. Spoiler alert; I was anything but. Although there were elements that I didn’t quite enjoy, they paled in comparison to everything else that makes this book worth reading.
when I finished it (at 5:00 am because I couldn’t put it down for the life of me), I felt as if I lost touch with very close friends
One of the elements that make this book stand out is the format and the structure. The story is told as an oral history, like edited snapshots of a documentary, from the characters in the present day many years after their split. This results in having all these different point of views in the same situation, leaving the reader having to choose whose tale to believe and fill in the gaps of what is not said; and although it is fiction, with this format the reader would be forgiven for thinking this is about a real band. Some characters more than others aim to make themselves look better, therefore, it makes one question every statement. Another reason why I adore this book is how the characters are just so realistic. You could have met Daisy and Billy, despite them having this star quality about them. Even if it sounds strange, when I finished it (at five am because I couldn’t put it down for the life of me), I felt as if I lost touch with very close friends.
Writing a book about music is difficult in itself, however, Reid did a wonderful job at describing the quality of the sound. A detail that elevated the book was the fact that she wrote the lyrics of all of the songs on their album. Having said that, at times I felt that some characters were unnecessary and sometimes the book went off on a tangent about music terms, which if one was not familiar with, would get a bit bored and lost.
It also dealt heavily with addiction and mental health in a very raw way, so please be aware of that before picking up the book. It is worthwhile noting that the audiobook is magnificent as well with a full cast of actors, which highlight what this story is all about. My recommendation is to listen to the audiobook, even if you don’t normally do. There is also a mini-series coming out in time so you might want to keep an eye out for that!
One more thing just in case it isn’t clear; I recommend it with every bit of my broken-because-of-this-book heart.