Throughout Daisy Jones & The Six, Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne serve as mirrors to each other, often in ways that emphasize the light and dark aspects of both their personalities. From the first moment they interact recording “Honeycomb” to the final combustive performance of the same song, Daisy reflects back to Billy both his worst fears and his greatest hopes for his future with Camila. Likewise, from the moment Daisy jumps into Billy’s arms after finding her voice during “Impossible Woman” to the night she asks him to help her get sober, Billy pushes Daisy to face her demons and become the person and the artist he knows she can be. Billy and Daisy also serve as mirrors or foils to other characters and relationships around them. For example, Daisy shows Karen a model of a different way to be a woman in the male-dominated music world, while Billy and Daisy’s romance actually makes Camila have more faith in her relationship with Billy. Mirroring is the basis of the romantic and creative tension between Billy and Daisy. It serves as the catalyst for the astronomical success of their musical collaboration, the wrenching dissolution of their romantic entanglement, and the narrative propulsion of the novel as a whole.  

Billy and Daisy’s early lives mirror each other, suggesting that they share similar pain, and both turn to music as a means of solace. Daisy grows up in a family that doesn’t have much interest in her wellbeing, while Billy is abandoned by his father when he’s a child. This neglect creates a hunger in both that is sated by music. Daisy discovers community and a found family in the music scene, including her lifelong friendship with Simone, while Billy finds both artistic expression and his future wife through performing. But the pain of their lonely youths and the dark side of the music scene cause struggles for Daisy and Billy alike. They both turn to substances when their emotional realities overwhelm them, such as when Billy goes on a months-long binge when he’s afraid he’ll fail as a father. Billy escapes into his infidelities with women on the road, while Daisy is used sexually by older men who have more power than she does. In this way, both feel shame over sexual experiences that take them away from themselves. Both also feel the temptation for and dissatisfaction with the darker sides of the music scene.  

Because of their similarities and their ability to see each other clearly, Billy’s repeated rejection and avoidance of Daisy can be seen as an attempt to run away from the dark sides of himself. For example, the first time Billy and Daisy connect, they talk about their shared love of Van Morrison, but Billy declines Daisy’s invitation to continue their discussion in her room. Tempted by the drugs Daisy is holding and recognizing the powerful attraction between them, Billy makes a conscious decision to try and hate Daisy. Part of this decision is his commitment to his wife, whose faith in him serves as his North Star and drives him to constantly try to be good. However, despite these attempts to avoid temptation, he is constantly driven toward Daisy, which suggests there’s something valuable and vital in their connection for him. As they work together creatively, Billy is able to give voice to how tempted he is—by drugs and alcohol and by Daisy—and it is through facing his dark impulses that he is finally able to accept that he is in love with Daisy. It is only through this acceptance that he’s also able to see that he is the good man he wants to be because, though he’s in love with Daisy, he remains committed to his wife and family. 

On the flip side, Daisy’s repeated attempts to connect with Billy can be seen as her efforts to escape the dark clutches of her worst impulses and stand in the light of her talent and power. When they first start recording “Honeycomb,” Daisy attempts to articulate her understanding of what she hears in Billy’s rendition of the song because she resonates with it. She alone hears the plaintive tone that suggests he struggles to believe himself, too. Daisy wants their duet to exhibit the truth of this doubt. Her alterations to the song are her attempt to show Billy that she understands him and to get Billy to recognize her artistic abilities. Daisy lights up under Billy’s praise and recognition, saying he holds up the right mirror to her, that he sees her the way she wants to be seen. It’s after Billy gives her a message of complete acceptance, saying “I like a lot about you,” that Daisy tries to kiss him. She wants to embrace the love they feel for each other, which makes her feel seen and understood, but his rejection pushes her toward her darkest impulses. It’s only after she hits rock bottom with Nicky that she can reach out to Billy and admit she needs help. In asking Billy to help her get sober, Daisy finally gets the validation from him that she needs because he knows she can live a life that’s truer to herself. 

The structure of the novel illustrates the unreliability of memory and the ways that storytelling itself can be an unreliable mirror to reality. Told as a fictionalized oral history, the novel creates space for everyone’s version of the truth, from the core band members to their families and friends, from Daisy’s biographer to the band accountant. This provides a rich narrative tapestry that spans two decades and encompasses the intricacies of individual biases, emotions, hopes, and failures. It also shows that no two people tell exactly the same version of their history. Memories often conflict, leaving it unclear what really happened. This is further complicated by the revelation that Julia, Billy’s and Camila’s daughter, is the fictionalized author of the novel. Julia’s presence through every interview, through every confession of love between Billy and Daisy, through every account of Camila’s force and personality, inexorably changes the quality of the narratives. Billy’s narrative is especially compromised by telling it to his daughter. But what emerges instead of a recitation of facts is a deeper truth, one that more closely mirrors the emotional and lived realities of the narrators during pivotal parts of their shared past.