42 pages 1 hour read

Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & The Six

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2019

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Summary and Study Guide


Taylor Jenkins Reid’s historical fiction novel Daisy Jones & The Six, published in 2019, is a contemporary work of fiction that explores the rich music culture of the 1970s in the United States. This time was known for rock ’n’ roll, partly as a cultural response to the strict rules of the 1960s and the disaster of the Vietnam War. The California dream world of hard partying, no rules, and freedom persists as a major theme through this fictional biography.

The narration is told from the point of view of several characters speaking in interviews for a fictional biography about the band The Six, later known as Daisy Jones & The Six. The multilayered narration provides different interpretations of the same events in chronological order, and this fictional oral history highlights just how complicated a seemingly simple story can be.

Reid, known her use of journalist techniques in her fiction, is the author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, and Forever Interrupted. Recently developed by Amazon Studios for a television adaptation, Daisy Jones & The Six is also a New York Times bestseller and a Reese’s Book Club book.

Plot Summary

Daisy Jones & The Six captures the seduction of rock ’n’ roll in 1970s America. The novel is a fictional biography in which members of the band The Six, later known as Daisy Jones & The Six, reflect on their rapid rise to fame and the quick break-up of the band.

Daisy is a wild child, sneaking out of her Los Angeles home as early as 14 to seek adventure on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Marked by her beauty, Daisy quickly finds a socialite role among the musicians and artists of Los Angeles. She is introduced early to drugs and rock ’n’ roll but begins to crave her own creative identity. Meanwhile, Billy Dunne and his brother Graham grow up with music as a consolation after their father leaves the family. They take on a few friends to create a band named the Dunne Brothers. Soon the band grows to six musicians: Billy, Graham, Eddie, Pete, Warren, and Karen. They rename themselves The Six and, with Billy as the magnetic front man, find a record deal with Runner Records.

The band parties, but Billy concerns his band and his manager Rod with the amount of drugs and alcohol he consumes. Encouraged by his mentor, Teddy Price and his wife Camila, Billy enters rehab after The Six’s first tour. Newly sober, Billy throws himself into the work of the band’s second album. His music is less thematically rock ’n’ roll and mostly dedicated to his love for his wife and their newborn, Julia. Meanwhile, Daisy has been picked up as a recording artist for Runner Records, and though she is unhappy because her own music had been rejected for the record, her singing makes her a success. Runner Records sets her up with Billy for a duet, which gives The Six more commercial appeal.

After the success of the duet, Daisy Jones becomes the opening act for The Six on their second tour. Daisy is welcomed by everyone in the band except for Billy, who is triggered by her beauty, drugs, and creative talent. Daisy becomes a guest member of the band, and they are renamed Daisy Jones & The Six for their mega-famous album Aurora. Daisy and Billy write together for the album, and their similarities and attraction to one another pose a threat to Billy’s sobriety and Daisy’s future in music.

Daisy Jones & The Six explores the conditions that made the band so famous, as well as the conflicts that drove the band apart. Daisy and Billy’s battles with sadness, music, and drugs influence the trajectory of the band and of rock ’n’ roll music.