“History is what you did, not what you almost did, not what you thought about doing.”
Daisy Jones is a lot of things. By now, you’ve probably heard a few.
She’s the daughter of well-known British painter Frank Jones and French model Jeanne LeFevre. She became an It girl without really trying in the 1960s. In the 1980s a colored-contact company even created a shade called Daisy Blue inspired by her eyes. She was known for wearing hoop earrings and bangles up her arm. It was her chest on that album cover.
Yes, she’s inspired a few men along the way. But that’s not the important part. Daisy is never going to be a muse. She’s never going to do what anyone else wants. She’s the somebody. End of story.
And sure, The Six were already on the rise by the time Daisy came on the scene. How could they be anything else with lead man Billy Dunne writing hits and making a mark with his brother Graham and talented band members like Karen Karen?
But can anyone argue that The Six got so much bigger after Daisy joined? Would their sophomore album Aurora have defined rock and roll for a generation if Daisy hadn’t written every song alongside Billy?
Daisy and Billy were always going to be stars. Daisy Jones & The Six was always going to be a sensation. But it was only after the band’s mysterious breakup in 1979 that any of them became legends in Daisy Jones & The Six (2019) by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
Written as an oral history Daisy Jones & The Six is formatted with transcripts from characters speaking with a largely unidentified interviewer who is trying to understand the band’s meteoric rise and abrupt breakup.
The oral history format is used to excellent effect highlighting distinct character voices while offering surprisingly insightful plot details through artful dialog and anecdotal accounts.
The writing, from a sentence level onward, is masterful with each of the many characters having a cadence while recounting events leading up to the novel’s dramatic conclusion. In other words: Daisy Jones & The Six is what an ensemble cast in a book should look like.
Through Daisy and Billy readers see what it means to be a creator and to work in collaboration. The ramifications of choice loom large throughout the novel as characters face not just hard decisions but the consequences that come with them. It’s easy to want to be a good person or create good art. It’s much harder, it turns out, to make the decisions required to actually be good.
Daisy Jones & The Six is a phenomenal novel about art, friendship, and the power that comes with choosing. Highly recommended.
Possible Pairings: The Haters by Jesse Andrews, A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, The Ensemble by Aja Gabel, Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon, Exile by Kevin Emerson, How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran, Just Kids by Patti Smith, Sadie by Courtney Summers