I haven’t written a proper book review in a while. Not that I haven’t read some amazing books since then. I have drafts of about a dozen reviews that I never quite managed to finish. Life kept getting in the way.
But Daisy Jones and The Six? I can’t stop thinking about it.
It has everything I love: music references, witty banter, kickass female characters, subversive political messages. It feels like it’s tailor written for me. I was so riveted I didn’t even stop to mark my favorite quotes. But there were quite a few lines so moving, that I went back through the book to find them.
If you aren’t familiar with the book at all, it’s written in the style of a documentary – like one of those confessional Behind the Music kind of things VH-1 used to do. (AND OH HOW I LOVED THOSE!) It covers the band’s origin story…and inevitable decline. But plot is entirely secondary to the amazing characters that the author, Taylor Jenkins Reid, created. So relatable. So human. So endearingly fallible.
On second thought, calling the plot secondary feels too dismissive. There were definitely page turning moments but with nothing other than dialog to move the story I found the characters themselves most compelling. Look. Reid’s writing and approach are so inventive and genuine I dropped the book to my lap at least once a night and exclaimed, “GODDAMMIT SHE IS SO FUCKING GOOD.”
Every rock documentary, novel, movie, [insert every other medium possible here] I can think of is driven by men. Women are groupies. Or the wives that stays home and gets cheated upon. Or dewy, pure objects to be desired, conquered, consumed. Manic pixie dream girl bullshit if you’re lucky. But with this interview format, with every character (except Pete) having the chance to explain themselves rather than a single (often self-absorbed) narrator, the female characters are fully fleshed with interiority. And holy shit are they strong. And vulnerable. (Two traits which are NOT, contrary to public belief, mutually exclusive.)
I’m especially grateful to have read the book over these past few weeks of assault upon reproductive rights. And if you follow me on any platform anywhere, you know I happen to have very strong feelings about reproductive rights. (Hence my editorial today on the Washington Post.)
SPOILER ALERT: A character has an abortion. I am so appreciative of the ways Reid handled everything about that plot point. From the character’s decisions to do it. To the support she received from other strong, decisive female characters. To the pressure put upon her from the person with whom she had sex. (I won’t say “father” as is traditional nomenclature. Because impregnating someone and being a father are two completely different things.) To her utter and complete confidence in her decision.
I could pull a quote for each of those moments – and I am tempted to – but I don’t want to steal your ability to read them for the first time in context. This one, however, is so powerful you’ll still be bowled over when you read the book. And you should REALLY read the book.