Lillian Boxfish takes a Walk
Lillian is a delightful, insightful octogenarian who walks her hometown (New York City) on New Year’s Eve and encounters the good, the bad and the ugly with the opened mind that only a person of much life experience can do. The author’s use of adroit similes and other literary devices is right on. Loved Lillian. Loved the book.
Kathleen Rooney took me for a walk
Within the first few pages, I needed to highlight a sentence Ms. Rooney coined. Her writing was breathtaking and her choice of character was impeccable. I have been recommending this book to everyone. Even non-bibliophiles. I know this is a book that I will read over and over and over. Thank you for allowing me to travel with Ms. Boxfish.
Diane D. (Blairstown, NJ)
Seemed so Real!
The constant back-stories could have been annoying, but they weren’t; they just filled in all I wanted to know about Lillian and how she got to be where she was that day. It was funny to read that her honeymoon trip started the day my husband was born, because I kept forgetting when the story began.
Some of the things that happened to her bothered me, but that’s the case in everyone’s life; and they didn’t bog down the story, but went back to Lillian’s walk.
If I hadn’t known it was a novel, I’d have sworn it was a biography! Also, I think I would have liked to have known Lillian, but I’d never have been able to walk as far as she did.
Judy W. (Tucker, GA)
Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk by Kathleen Rooney
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk is a charming and exciting book to which I can relate (senior citizen). Ms. Rooney paints a fascinating story of a strong, independent woman who became the highest paid advertising woman in 1930s America–a great feat during this era. Her career was magnificent, but her personal life was filled with depression and unhappiness. The entire story is presented in a one evening walk around Lillian’s beloved New York City as she reflects with poignancy her 84 years of life. Along the way, Lillian meets a multitude of interesting characters. The format is great and writing is superb. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for book clubs. It is a tale full of interest!
Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI)
I love Lillian Boxfish. What a lovely story. At her advanced age, she has lived, loved and overcome so much. I enjoyed learning about her as the story was told. I want to be like her when I’m that age. Hope I can be.
Becky M. (Crumpler, NC)
A Walk with Lillian
The novel Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk begins slowly, as does “the walk” itself. But as Lillian moves about New York City on New Year’s Eve 1984, the reader’s interest increases and there is a need for the reader to find out the details of Lillian’s life just as she has a need to complete her 10-mile trek around the city. Lillian Boxfish was a woman at the top of her field in advertising–a man’s world she has conquered through wit and talent. The novel follows her career, her doomed marriage, her eventual breakdown, and her recovery.
Kathleen Rooney finds a way to embed nuggets of philosophy and life-lessons, requiring a studied reading so as not to miss a one. At the end, Lillian asks one of her new friends to stop by for a walk one day–as a reader, I wish I could take her up on that invitation.
Marcia C. (Jeffersonville, PA)
I loved this book!! As an ex-New Yorker, I was looking forward to reading this book, and although it wasn’t what I thought it would be, I was not disappointed with it in the least. Reading about Lillian made me want to jump on a train to New York, have a drink at the Algonquin, travel up to the Cloisters, shop at Zabar’s, and visit my old neighborhoods. She really resonated with me. Like Lillian I also loved to walk all over Manhattan. Accompanying her on her long New Year’s Eve journey was a wonderful opportunity to come to understand her triumphs and heartaches, as well as her love for the city that supported her through her many years there.
Kathleen Rooney has captured the essence of a New York woman from a time gone by. In doing so she also shines a light on a part of New York history that is quickly fading.
I would encourage anyone who lives, has lived, or who has thought about living in New York to open this book and meet Lillian Boxfish and her passion for New York.It would also be a good book for book clubs.
Carol T. (Ankeny, IA)
Walk thru a life
Lillian’s New Year’s Eve stroll thru Manhattan is really a stroll thru her life, the good and the bad, from her relationships with her mother, husband, son, and best friend, to how women were treated in the workplace. I was surprised that in 1935 she was able to keep working when she married. Very often women weren’t able to in that era. Having to leave when she was obviously “with child” rings true for another 40 years. Excellent story telling.