I had heard a lot of great things about Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest novel, Daisy Jones And The Six and it was a book I was drawn to as its premise is a little different from any book I have read recently. Looking back on the rise of a band and the shock of their split, this is a story that transports the reader back to the 1970’s LA music scene.
‘The truth often lies, unclaimed, in the middle.’
One of the first things to note about this book is its structure, as it is told in the form of interview transcripts from various members of the renowned rock band Daisy Jones And The Six, alongside other individuals who worked with or were close to the band. Through these transcripts we piece together the story of the band’s rise to stardom, from the formative years of The Six to the moment that the enigmatic Daisy Jones joined them on stage, marking a significant change for the band. We learn of the success the band achieved, the fame and fortune, and the sold out tours. But we also learn that the band suddenly split at the height of their fame, leaving everyone wondering why. Over the course of this story, we hear a number of perspectives, each with their own stories and their own views on the band’s demise. And from this we see the highs and lows, as within the group there is love and friendship, conflict and pain, as together the group grow and change, and try to adapt to the rock and roll lifestyle which their fame brings, aspects of which begin to take their toll.
It didn’t take me long to get into this story and it was one I finished pretty quickly. I think that the transcript format is very effective in this story in that we get to piece together the bands history from various different perspectives, and I imagine that this use of multiple narrators would lend itself well to the audio book too. Each of the characters had an authentic voice and there were points as I was reading where I almost forgot the band was fictional as their stories seemed so plausible and there was plenty of depth to the characters and their emotions. In particular I was intrigued by Daisy Jones, a young woman who had such a presence which captivated all who met her, and a talent which subsequently altered the trajectory of The Six as their paths cross and the music they create and the emotions within are merged together. But whilst this proves to be a winning formula for the fans who flock to see them perform live, there is plenty of tension behind the scenes and I read on with interest to find out why they finally walked away. And each person on this journey had their own battles to face, whether that be a conflict within themselves or those around them, or a feeling that they cannot shake which becomes all consuming…
I really enjoyed Daisy Jones And The Six, and found it to be an engaging story which provides a glimpse into the life of a rock and roll band and the challenges they face, as we get to the heart of their stories, and to the truth behind their lyrics.