This was an amazing book to listen to on audio because the full voice cast brought Daisy and the band members to life! The book takes a journalistic approach to the story, told as if it were the oral history of this fictional band’s rise and fall, which was modeled on Fleetwood Mac in the 1970s. This proved to be the second of author Taylor Jenkins Reid’s quartet of books that intersect, but I read it first, and it proved to be my favorite of the four. A character in the previous The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo popped up as a small cameo in a party scene in the book, and would eventually take a more significant role in the next book.
The Six were brothers Billy (lead singer) and Graham (lead guitar), Warren (drummer), Karen (keyboards), and the second set of brothers Eddie (rhythm guitar) and Pete (bassist). They started their rise to prominence in the late 60s and early 70s, alongside the parallel journey of Daisy who started off as a rock groupie but became the It girl of that era as she began to song write and sing herself. When their manager shrewdly paired Daisy and Billy to sing a duet together to market them to the masses, their singing chemistry was evident, so Daisy and The Six began to tour together. This eventually led to Daisy officially joining the band and thus their acclaimed album Aurora began, and their behind-the-scenes turmoil is obviously based on the aforementioned Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album.
The drama between everyone made for a fantastic album but spilled over onto the stage and into their personal lives, with the band disbanding in 1979 among great strife.
Daisy and Billy’s relationship was fraught with sexual tension, but Billy was determined to maintain his hard-won sobriety (after out-of-control early days with the band) and his marriage to Camila. Daisy was charismatic and talented but very self-centered and drug-addicted, so I had a hard time connecting with her character as she is someone in real life I would stay far away from. On the other hand, the other couple in the band, Graham and Karen (modeled after Christine McVie) were engaging together and had a realistic but heartbreaking end to their relationship. There were rivalries within the band, especially between Billy and Eddie, but also a disconnect with Pete, whose contribution to the interviews made me smile. I was very pleased that female friendships were an important part of the narrative, with Daisy and fellow singer Simone and then Karen and Camila. While most of their conversations would not pass the Bechdel test, their friendships felt authentic and the book was better for the representation. There was a little surprise in the end as to who was doing the interviewing, but there was a misstep at the very end with a message that felt very much like the disliked finale of How I Met Your Mother. Overall, this was a great book that gave a fictionalized but very real look at rock and roll in the 70s. Recommended!