Whenever I read one of those high-praise, rave reviews on the back of a book, I always roll my eyes a bit. Like, really? Really? You “couldn’t put it down!”?
Well, Reese Witherspoon’s blurb on the back of Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid struck me the same way.
“I devoured Daisy Jones & The Six in a day, falling head over heels for it. Taylor Jenkins Reid transported me into the magic of the seventies music scene in a way I’ll never forget. Daisy and the band captured my heart, and they’re sure to capture yours too,” she gushed before putting her “Reese’s Book Club” stamp on the cover.
Really, Reese Witherspoon? Really? You don’t know me to know if this book will capture my heart!
But on the other hand…maybe she does?
Because I am floored by this book. I tore through it as quickly as a mother-of-two-small-children can tear through a 350-page novel. (Yes, by ignoring laundry and dirty dishes)
Here’s my good-will warning that this book is set in the ’70s and, apparently like the ’70s, is full of drugs, alcohol, sex, and cursing. None of it is extremely explicit or graphic (except maybe the cursing, because I’m not sure how you convey subtle f-bombs), but fair warning that it’s all there.
Daisy Jones & The Six, which came out this year (hey! I’m actually timely in my book recommendation!), is written entirely as interviews with fictitious rock-n-roll legends from the 1970s. It’s hard to remember that this isn’t a non-fiction collection of interviews. I have no idea how author Taylor Jenkins Reid pulled this thing together. Brilliant.
Daisy Jones is a spoiled, forgotten girl with a backbone of steel, an avalanche of talent, a stunning beauty, and a complete lack of control. She spends her days fishing random pills out of her pockets, snorting coke (it is coke that you snort, right? My drug knowledge is–thankfully–incredibly limited), and sleeping around. Somehow, though, she’s an incredible singer-songwriter the world can’t help but worship.
Billy Dunne and his brother, Graham, started a rock band in high school, which later became The Six. They were moderately talented, especially Billy, and were on their way to stardom. Each band member contributes to the present-day interviews, retelling the story of their rise to mega-fame.
Daisy eventually joins the band (uh, spoiler? But it’s also the name of the book, so…unspoiled?), which causes all kinds of mayhem for Billy, who can’t help but be simultaneously attracted and repelled by her.
The book follows Daisy and Billy as they write smash-success songs about heartbreak, drugs, wanting what you can’t have, etc. It watches Daisy as she tries her best to ruin her life with partying, sleazy men, and narcotics. It’s a story of the weight of fame and the struggle to fight your inner demons. I couldn’t read it fast enough.
So, back to my headline…
People who lived through the 1970s.
What. In. The. World?
Were drugs really flowing everywhere all the time? Did no one realize the effect of drugs? Was it like cigarettes where even the medical field assumed they were “healthy” before later realizing they were actually killing people?
A question from my husband: Was work productivity different back then? Like, what was expected from an average workday? Were expectations significantly lower than today? Because, dear goodness, if so many people were high or stoned constantly, what could they possibly have been accomplishing?
Were parties actually that insane?
Also, did women ever wear bras?
Did men really wear denim shirts and denim pants? Together? At the same time?
OK, I think I’ll leave this here. I’d love to hear some truths from my more experienced set of readers. It just seems like such a different world than today. I know a fictitious novel will spin things differently, especially in terms of a famous rock band, but I still want to know! What was it like for normal folks?
Anyone have a picture wearing a leisure suit? Some feathered layers, ladies? I’d be happy to take a look…
I literally just finished Daisy Jones, but I plan to pick up The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. Ms. O’Leary is touted to be “the next Jojo Moyes,” and that is high praise in my book. It’s a romantic novel about a man and woman who share a flat. They’re strangers, and they work opposite hours and never meet. They only communicate through notes. Doesn’t that just sound fun? I’ll keep you posted.