One of the greatest decades of rock and roll comes to life off the pages of Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. The book follows the story of fictional rock band Daisy Jones & the Six including their origins, rise to fame, and personal demises. A brilliant piece of work, Reid’s book centers strong and complex female characters wrapped up in an intoxicating thrill ride you can only find on the ‘70s rock scene.
Daisy Jones & the Six feels less like a novel and more like a historical artifact. I found myself wanting to look up iconic album covers described and to listen to the songs as I read about their creation. The genius behind this impact is Reid’s decision to tell this story as if it’s an oral history. The book is written as a transcript of interviews with various members of the band and other relevant parties. By interweaving these retrospective narratives, Reid is able to develop a clear voice for each personality—voices that often tell conflicting sides to the same story.
Here, Reid is able to toy with the idea of memory and perspective. Each person experiences the same moment differently. Add the wares of time, personal bias, and desires (conscious or unconscious) to control the narrative, and the memory of the moment for one person can be unrecognizable from the memory of another person who experienced the same moment. This theme appears throughout the novel, especially between icon Daisy and front man Billy as tensions rise. The narrator warns us early on, “The truth often lies, unclaimed, in the middle.”
Switching between the perspectives of an ever-rotating cast of characters could have provided difficulties with fully developing each character as a whole…except, it didn’t. Reid’s masterful character development and ability to give distinctive voices to her cast make for seamless transitions between each interviewee. Quickly, you are able to understand and even hear these (fictional) historic figures come to life. And it’s nearly impossible to believe that none of it was ever real.
Nearly impossible. The reason why it is possible to believe is because it’s Taylor Jenkins Reid, a master of storytelling and characterization. Daisy Jones & the Six is just one of her many masterpieces. I’ve already since devoured The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (more on that one another time…) and can’t wait to continue working my way through the Taylor Jenkins Reid library.
While Daisy Jones & the Six doesn’t feature a lot of food, there was a sweet moment between Daisy and Julia, Billy’s daughter, where Daisy takes the little girl to eat a peanut butter cookie. That was all I needed. I modified Shelly Jaronsky’s peanut butter & jelly cookie recipe. Just like you can’t imagine Daisy Jones without The Six, it’s hard to imagine peanut butter without jelly—two pairings so classic, better duos have yet to form (ok, except maybe milk and cookies?). I followed Jaronsky’s measurements and instructions, but instead of adding a little bit of peanut butter and jelly to each cookie I scooped out, I made a well in one cookie and topped it with another cookie in order to form a much larger cookie that could contain more pb&j. My advice when making this recipe is to really go for it with the fillings. Mine didn’t have quite as much jelly as I desired, and I’ll definitely be stuffing my next cookies so that they’re practically bursting in the future! Just like in Daisy Jones & The Six, a little mess can make for something amazing.