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All booksContemporary fictionLillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
Contemporary fiction

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

by Kathleen Rooney

Quick take

Dream big, work hard, love deeply, and walk long: all great resolutions for 2017, and the secret behind the magic of this great novel.

Why I love it

Nina Sankovitch
Bestselling Author

The perfect book to start a new year of reading and of living, both captivating and inspiring, this novel opens on the last day of 1984. Lillian Boxfish is 85 years old and on her own for New Year’s Eve, not for lack of invitations but because she prefers to celebrate and reminisce by herself.

We accompany Lillian on her evening’s peregrinations on foot up, down, and all across Manhattan'“ she is a devout walker '“ and back in time, as she remembers the main events of her life. With wisdom, humor, regret, and resolve, Lillian recounts a life well-lived across many decades, from her days in advertising through becoming a bestselling poet (back when such a thing was a possibility), and on to her love life, passionate but difficult. Hard lessons have been learned, but with knowledge comes acceptance and strength in equal measure.

Now, as she takes her New Year’s walk, Lillian is unsure how she can make the most of whatever time she has left. New York City seems on the edge, with incivility and vigilante justice on the rise, and the threat of AIDS pervading communities. Lillian’s past makes a compelling narrative but her future is less certain.

Lillian’s New Year’s Eve turns out to be not the solitary celebration she’d anticipated, but one filled with both ghosts from her past and wonderfully-alive unexpected companions she meets in the present. On the cusp of a new year and suddenly forced into making connections across generational and cultural lines, Lillian discovers she’s still as vibrant and hopeful and full of potential as the city she loves so much. Neither Lillian nor New York City are ready to call it quits, and the love she gives it and its crazy inhabitants ends up coming back two-fold and more.

Based on the real life of Margaret Fishback, the highest paid female advertising copywriter of the 1930s, the story is as well-told as it is moving. Let Lillian Boxfish lead you into your own new year. Dream big, work hard, love deeply, and walk long: all great resolutions for 2017, and the secret behind the magic of this great novel.

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Member thoughts

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All (3725)
Love (1690)
Like (1621)
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3871 ratings
  • 44% Love
  • 42% Like
  • 11% Dislike
  • Archer, FL

    Ladies, if you're looking for a book that will make you laugh and bring a tear to your eye, Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk is that book! Stroll through NY in the 1920-1980 era. A journey you won't forget

  • West Lakeland, MN

    This was pure pleasure to read! I loved the leisurely pace of the book and alternating time periods to reflect Lillian’s life up to this point and here encounters on the actual walk. Love! Love! Love!

  • Rankin, PA

    I really enjoyed this book! All of Lillian’s musings and how she handles different characters she encounters shows how much of a badass she is. So amazing that this work was inspired by the true life!

  • Jacksonville, IL

    There are many things about Lillian Boxfish-the character and the novel-that I absolutely love, so I started a list: words, attitude, titles, history. Unfortunately, my words are limited, so I can't g

  • Madison, MS

    What a lovely read. This is my first time using BOTM and so glad this was my first book. Loved going on a romantic walk around NYC and learning all about Lillian Boxfish. I highly recommend this book!

  • Coraopolis, PA

    I loved her character and was caught up with what would happen next. Loved reading about a successful woman looking back over the ups and downs of her life and knowing she happily did it her way.

  • Chicago, IL

    This book is so refreshing! I loved the witty personality given to Lillian Boxfish. You feel like you are on the trek through the city with her, while also going back in time to learn what shaped her.

  • Lafayette Hill, PA

    Amazing look into a life based on a successful woman who tried to live the life she loved in a sexist world that didn't necessarily want her making those choices. So much inspiration & gratitude here.

  • Hesperia , CA

    This book has been in my TBR pile for about 2 years and I highly regret not reading it sooner. I see so much of myself in Lilian but can only aspire to have her confidence and grace in my later years.

  • Colorado Springs, CO

    After a bit of a slow start, I really loved this! At first I was waited by for the action and then I realized, that is not this book. This book is a lovely journey through a woman's life as she walks

  • Hobe sound, FL

    I love love love this book. I never wanted it to end. What a great way to welcome 2020. This book was well written and i will think about this book for years to come. Her ex was a jerk just saying

  • Los Angeles, CA

    Memorable heroine based on Margaret Fishback, the highest paid woman in advertising in the 30s. We meet Lillian as an old lady as she walks the streets of New York reminiscing about her career, family

  • Fort Eustis, VA

    Very different from anything I've ever read!Lillian is such a sassy character who you can't help but love. Her journey through the city and life is such a delightful perspective! Enjoyed every minute!

  • Pasadena, CA

    Such a beautiful book! I took my time with it, matching Lillian's pace on her walk, taking time to take it all in, remembering and experiencing the new. I usually read then pass on. This one I'll keep

  • Fishers, IN

    Absolutely loved the writing! Beautiful prose which captured me on page one. Strong character; fell in love with her strength and wit and elegance. Recommending this book to all! Didn't want it to end

  • Sudbury, MA

    I really enjoyed this book and loved that it was based on a real person. For me a good book is one that stays with me and I think about it long after I have finished it. This book is that way for me

  • San Antonio , TX

    This was immediately added to my list of books I think all young women should read. In a world of coming of age stories it's refreshing to look back on one's life and I'm glad we got to see Lillian's.

  • Steilacoom, WA

    The dichotomy btw reflection on a new year vs an entire life drove this story full force. What a well told stroll through NYC that gives perspective of how valuing ourselves is of the most importance.

  • Erlanger, KY

    This book is witty and laugh-out-loud funny at times, and totally heart-wrenching at others. No, there's not much action, but that's not the point. The point is that you will fall in love with Lillian

  • Virginia Beach, VA

    I really loved this book! Lillian was such an interesting character and I really related to her and her desire to remain independent while falling in love and wanting to give her self over completely.

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