Aurora, 1977-1978, Chapters 4-9 

Chapter 4

Camila visits the studio with Julia, Susana, and Maria while the band continues to work on their new album. While Camila’s there, Karen decides to tell her that she’s been seeing Graham romantically. Camila warns Karen not to break Graham’s heart because she knows that he has had feelings for Karen for years. Meanwhile, Daisy and Julia hang out and bond over the fact that they both like pineapple. Julia asks Camila if Daisy can be her best friend when they leave the studio, and Daisy ruminates on motherhood. Soon after, Daisy writes the song “A Hope Like You,” which becomes a piano ballad.  

Chapter 5 

Billy and Daisy work closely together writing several new songs as the album comes together. Within a week, they deliver four new tracks to Rod, who persuades Runner to give them more financial support. Daisy starts to wonder about the feelings of love, temptation, and desire they’ve been writing about in their songs. Billy says it’s difficult to know where a song comes from. Daisy finally gets the validation she needs from Bill during their writing sessions, and she says he holds up the right mirror to her. Likewise, Billy says that some of Daisy’s songs make him feel like he is being introduced to a piece of himself. Eddie is jealous of the special treatment Billy and Daisy get, but Rod and Teddy work hard to keep Billy and Daisy steady, which Rod compares to tending a small fire. According to Karen, Billy and Daisy fight often while working on the album, though Billy doesn’t remember it that way. While Daisy’s drug use is well hidden, Karen knows it’s not under control. 

Chapter 6 

Graham writes a love song about settling down, which makes Karen nervous because she never promised him a future together. But when Graham asks Billy if they can put the song on the new album, Billy says no.  

Chapter 7 

Billy and Daisy start recording their vocals together in the same booth, even though Artie Snyder, the sound engineer, says it makes his job more difficult. Though he tries to hide it from Teddy, Teddy sees that Billy can’t take his eyes off Daisy in the booth. Teddy tells Rod about it, and Rod observes that the song feels intimate.  

Chapter 8 

Billy and Daisy continue to write songs in Teddy’s pool house. During one such session, they sit together at the keyboard trying to figure out the best key for a new song. Alone together, Daisy tells Billy that she likes writing songs with him, and Billy, in turn, tells her that he likes a lot about her. Daisy leans in to kiss him and their lips barely meet before Billy pulls back and tells her that he can’t. He tries to pretend nothing happened, which Daisy finds excruciating. They both say they were the first to leave. 

Feeling embarrassed, ashamed, and stupid, Daisy drives to the beach. Soon she starts to feel angry and a line for a song comes into her head: regret me. She doesn’t have a pen or paper, so she writes the song on her registration and a gas station napkin using eyeliner. Meanwhile, Billy goes home to Camila and they decide to go to Disneyland. There, as Billy watches his family, he decides that what he almost did with Daisy doesn’t matter as only his actions define him. He is proud of leaving when he did. He says that he and Camila never talked about Daisy, but they had an unspoken understanding. When Billy gets home, he calls Graham to tell him that Daisy has to leave the band, but Graham says no. He reminds Billy that they’re nearly done with the album, and Billy hangs up unaware that Camila overheard his side of the conversation. While Billy doesn’t admit anything, Camila knows that something happened between him and Daisy. 

Chapter 9 

Daisy takes the lyrics to “Regret Me” into the studio and shows them to Billy. He says he won’t put it on the album, but she protests and lists several reasons why it should be included. When Billy refuses to relent, Daisy sings the song for the whole band, and everyone else agrees that it’s a great song and that it belongs on the album. Billy leaves after their impromptu vote to include “Regret Me,” so they record the song without him. 


Mirrors and reflection are a motif throughout the novel, illustrating the power of seeing oneself and other people clearly. Daisy describes the feeling of being seen by Billy by saying he holds the right metaphoric mirror up to her. For Daisy, this validation and understanding is something she’s been searching for her entire life. It’s this realization—that Billy can truly see her the way she wants to be seen, in a way that helps her understand herself and want to be the best version of herself—that finally tips Daisy’s and Billy’s relationship into a romantic space. Billy also feels seen, validated, and understood by Daisy. He says he feels like Daisy introduced him to parts of himself. Through this mirroring, Daisy and Billy each, in moments, see each other the way they want to be seen. This mirroring spurs both of them to become better artists and to strive to be the best versions of themselves.  

While Billy and Daisy mirror each other to an almost uncomfortable degree, Karen and Graham’s inability to see each other impedes their connection. Throughout their relationship, Karen and Graham have mismatched expectations. Karen likes Graham and enjoys spending time with him, but she is continually put off and frightened by his attempts to make her commit. When Graham writes a song for Karen that is similar in theme to “Honeycomb” about building a future together, Karen is unsettled by it, emphasizing that she never promised Graham a future. Graham, who is often blinded by love, continually assumes that Karen wants what he wants. Similarly, Karen can’t see the risk she’s running by being with Graham, even when Camila warns her that Graham has been in love with her for a long time. In a sense, both Graham and Karen hold on to their own ideals and desires about the relationship and these impede their ability to see the other. While Daisy and Billy mirror each other, Karen and Graham seem to only mirror themselves, and the one-sided nature of each of their perceptions eventually leads to the breakup of their relationship. 

Temptation is a motif throughout the novel that emphasizes how difficult it is to maintain a path of temperance. After Daisy tries to kiss Billy, he grapples with what happened before being able to make a distinction between what he did (rejecting Daisy’s advances) and what he was tempted to do (kissing her back). Billy convinces himself that the most important thing is the choice he made. However, his feelings for Daisy continue to grow, the temptation continues to be strong, and though they never discuss it outright, Camila still feels the effects of this temptation and describes it as heartbreak. In contrast to Billy, Daisy often gives in to temptation. She gives in to the temptation to kiss Billy, though pursuing her married band member is dangerous. Rather than analyzing the difference between actions and emotions, Daisy acts on her emotions and writes a powerful song about what happened. “Regret Me” gives voice to the emotional reality of what happened between Billy and Daisy. Though Billy wants to believe that the temptation between them doesn’t matter if he doesn’t act on it, Daisy holds on to their hidden emotional affair and gives voice to it in song.