Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk

Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk

Large Print - 2017
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Inspired by Margaret Fishback, poet and Macy's ad-writing phenom of the 1930s, Rooney imagines an extraordinary walk through the streets of New York City on the last night of 1984, one that triggers a flood of memories for fictional ad woman Lillian Boxfish. The octogenarian muses on the changing urban landscape as she stops at favorite haunts: an intimate neighborhood bar that's just installed a TV, a restaurant where she's dined every New Year's Eve that's about to change owners, the famed Delmonico's, where she ended her marriage. Further stops include a changing lower Manhattan landscape where she meets a haunted Vietnam veteran and engages him in a "best last-line contest," a detour to a hospital emergency room with a frightened woman about to have her first baby, and a party where she's both scorned and adored by a new generation of artists, followed by a hilarious encounter with three muggers. Meanwhile, Lillian carefully recounts her celebrated career in advertising, her adored husband and son, and her emotional breakdown. Elegantly written, Rooney creates a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time-and an unabashed celebration of human connections that bridge the past and future.
Topical Term: City and town life
Interpersonal relations
Older women
Large type books
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2017
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781410499660
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: 437 pages (large print) : map ; 23 cm
large print


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AndreaG_KCMO Dec 12, 2019

The story tracks Lillian's inward journey alongside her actual physical journey through New York City on New Year's Eve. The sharp-witted narrator interweaves her street "adventures" of that evening with stories of her rise and fall as a writer, wife, and mother. As the book progressed, I began to see a pattern to her recollections and felt the forward movement toward a climax in her past and in her present. I was pleasantly surprised that she did not linger endlessly over historical events (like the two wars that usually consumer memoir-style novels) but focused on a personal history.

Nov 17, 2019

It took me quite a while to get through this book; not because it was particularly long or a difficult read. It was actually neither of those things. But I am glad I stuck it it out. For I do not know if I could have lived the rest of my life without knowing how the New Year's Eve adventures of the lovely Ms. Boxfish concluded. I simply adore this women, tootling around the Big Apple, and the friends she meets along the way-though some are friendlier than others. In my later years, I can only hope to be half as fearless, friendly, and stylish as spunky Ms. Boxfish.

ArapahoeHolly Jul 26, 2019

Take a walk around Manhattan with Lillian Boxfish on New Year's Eve 1984 and you'll learn so much... about history, dignity... and maybe even how to grab life by the horns as you age. Loved it!

Sep 09, 2018

suggested by Annie P

JCLKarynH May 03, 2018

Lillian Boxfish's New York odyssey of walking to her favorite haunts, while reminiscing about her bohemian days as the highest paid ad woman at R.H. Macy's in the 1920's, her friends and foes, battle with depression, poetry, love affairs, marriage feminism, motherhood, and everything in between is both delightful and bittersweet. As a frequent visitor to NYC, I loved reading about some of its iconic places. This story spans several decades and covers quite a lot of cultural and political change. Lillian is a well-rounded, relatable, and flawed character, whose wit is a joy to witness as she uses it to master any situation.

LPL_BeckyB Apr 19, 2018

This is one of those novels that will live in my mind for a long time. I found myself copying sentences thinking how much I want to remember and perhaps quote. I don't know a Lillian, exactly, but she reminds me so much of women mentors and friends throughout the years. Someone to admire and treasure while also gasping at her incredible intellect and the attached ego. What a dame!

Apr 03, 2018

It took awhile, but around page 50 LILLIAN BOXFISH TAKES A WALK began to grow on me, in relation to the title character, as well as author Kathleen Rooney’s writing style. It’s New Year’s Eve 1984, and octogenarian Lillian steps out her door to walk the sidewalks of NYC. For the next 280 pages the reader joins the spunky Lillian on her journey across Manhattan, which includes a number of memorable encounters with others she meets along the way. As she walks, Lillian looks back and reflects on the people and events that shaped her legendary life. Her experiences are shared with wit and compassion. LILLIAN BOXFISH not only pays homage to NYC over the years (1920s into the 1980s) but also salutes its central character, a strong intelligent woman definitely ahead of her time. Kudos to author Kathleen Rooney for her creativity, incorporating the writings of real-life inspiration Margaret Fishbank within this fictional story. If you’re in the mood for something original and different, look no further than the charming LILLIAN BOXFISH TAKES A WALK.

Mar 05, 2018

A fabulous read. The writer describes New York so vividly, I can just picture it in my mind. Ms Boxwood meets kind individuals on her very long walk through Manhattan.

Feb 27, 2018

A great read. I'd love to take a walk and end with a drink at a local pub with the fictional Lillian Boxfish.
I've read much of Ms. Rooney's work and it's all terrific. This stands out as perhaps her best yet.

Nov 08, 2017

Borrowed this book for my wife. She loved it. One day, I'll read it too. I expect I will also love it.

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Apr 03, 2018

“If you love something, know that it will leave on a day you are far from ready.” - p.15

Apr 03, 2018

“Any day you walk down a street and find nothing new but nothing missing counts as a good day in a city you love.” - p. 172


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