I’m going to level with you here. I flipped through Daisy Jones and the Six for the first time confused, worried I’d accidentally bought a script. There’s nothing wrong with scripts, I’m just a novel girl. Always have been.
So I crack this beautiful new hardcover, because let’s be honest, the cover sold it. My heart is fluttering. I’m wondering, what have I gotten myself into? But I buckle up, trust Jenkins Reid and every list of must read historical fiction of 2019 and I leave my comfy box.
And man, I should never have worried because about five pages in I was exactly where I wanted to be—immersed in a rock ‘n roll adventure a la Almost Famous.
For those of us that used to binge watch episodes of VH1’s Behind The Music, this book is the best episode of that show. Every band member, every character pops out on the page, Daisy especially, with her bold and contradictory nature—her carelessness. She just felt so human. The push and pull between Daisy and Billy is electric. Partly because their emotions and nostalgia are not painted through the looking glass of some disguised author, but from the characters themselves. In their own words.
As it turns out, allowing the reader to fill in all of those narrative gaps makes for a more personally tuned story. It allows our minds to paint the scene however we want. Because of that, it became exactly the book I wanted to read.
It helps, of course, that I am a massive fan of Stevie Nicks. It was so clear that she was the inspiration behind Daisy from the beginning, one moment's worth of research confirmed Nicks and Fleetwood Mac were the fuel burning behind the words. But Jenkins Reid chose to amplify the voices of the women in the story and pull them forward, make them more than the groupies and drug addicts doting on rich, famous men.
When Billy’s wife, Camila, levels with Daisy about her love for her husband it’s so frank and honest. It’s so refreshing, in a world where lack of communication seems to be a too-often-used plot device. Camila says to her, after watching them perform on stage together:
“I’m not perfect. I’ll never be perfect. I don’t expect anything to be perfect. But things don’t have to be perfect to be strong. So if you’re waiting around, hoping that something’s going to crack, I just… I have to tell you that it’s not gonna be me. And I can’t let it be Billy. Which means it’s gonna be you.”
Camila is the core of this story, the central force everyone else revolves around whether they realize it or not. If Daisy Jones is about overcoming love and it’s about overcoming addiction, then central to both truths is that sometimes, family is what’ll get everyone through all of it in the end.
I finished the last page wishing there was a soundtrack.
Review written by Casey Reinhardt