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Book Review: “Daisy Jones and The Six”

by Claudia Martillo

Rock and roll and love affairs, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s “Daisy Jones and The Six” tells the story of a 1970s rock band’s rise and fall.

The book is told in the format of interviews with members of the band The Six decades after their abrupt split while on tour in 1979. The interviews were conducted with former band members, family, friends and industry professionals who surrounded them at the time.

Daisy Jones, our protagonist, is the fierce and independent it-girl of music. Originally from Hollywood Hills and born to neglectful rich parents, Daisy is a strong-willed singer and songwriter with dreams of becoming a rock star.

The other “Six” include Billy Dunne, the stubborn, passionate, and domineering headman from Pittsburgh, who is also the lead singer of The Six; Graham Dunne, the lead guitarist; Warren Rhodes, drummer; Pete Loving, bassist; Eddie Loving, rhythmic guitarist; and Karen Karen, keyboard player.

Once Daisy joins the band in the mid-1970s, the band exceeds all expectations and garners widespread popularity. However, the two hardheaded personalities of Daisy and Billy cause tension that eventually spirals into rumors of a romance between the two.

Reflective of the real-life rock and roll scene, Daisy’s struggle with addiction makes things incredibly difficult for Billy—a recovering addict who is trying to stay dedicated to keeping his sobriety for the sake of his wife and children.

Though the two often butt heads, they become captivated with one another and consistently try to deny their chemistry, which is evident to the whole world (including Billy’s wife Camila Dunne). The two continue to write together with conflicting feelings that make for an incredible album, “Aurora.”

The collaborative album gains massive acclaim and sets the band on a journey for a world tour. The tour brings up many different problems between Daisy and Billy, as well as other band members like Karen and Graham that ultimately result in the sudden separation of Daisy Jones and The Six.

Reid’s unique style of storytelling raises many ideas with the central question: Is it possible to love more than one person at the same time? Alongside the romance, Reid ensures to include commanding female characters on and off the stage. The story includes ideas of friendship, feminine power, the struggle with addiction, love for music and much more.

Many are quick to compare Daisy Jones and The Six to the real-life band Fleetwood Mac. Reid acknowledges the influence that Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham’s love story had on her growing up, and how she wanted to create a story that is commemorative of the life they shared. Specifically, her desire to create a beloved story that highlights the “blurred lines” of real life and performance.

I was not able to put this book down once I picked it up. I am always one to read/watch/listen to any story that has an amazing collection of characters, specifically women. Reid is an author that never fails to deliver a complex and compelling story with characters that readers are sure to relate to. I’ve read many of her other books like “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo,” “Malibu Rising” and “Carrie Soto is Back.” Reid does an excellent job of establishing female characters as intricate individuals rather than catering to many common female character book tropes like damsels in distress, manic pixie dream girls, the girl next door and more.

The two most stand-out characters in this book are Daisy Jones and Camila Dunne. Both are vastly unlike each other in their lifestyles, yet they share many similar characteristics. Daisy appears to long for stardom, but when it comes down to it, she aspires to be truly loved for who she is. Her journey with romance and self-destructiveness, though difficult to witness, portrays a real-life experience of those struggling with addiction.

Camila is both kind-hearted and a force to be reckoned with. Though she is not a part of the band, she is a driving force behind Billy’s work. She puts all her faith in Billy for the promise of a happy life together. Daisy and Camila create their own paths for their ideal lives, but these visions directly affect one another.

Similarly to the band, the book has received immense attention, earning it a place as a “New York Times” bestseller and an on-screen adaption with Amazon Prime Video. The show stars Riley Keough as Daisy Jones and Sam Claflin as Billy Dunne. The miniseries is set to premiere on March 3, 2023.

As a fan of many book-to-screen movies and shows, I’m excited to see how the story is brought to life in the new series. I have trust in Clafin, a seasoned veteran of movies with book origins, that this adaption will do the book justice.

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