Reader reviews and comments on Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, plus links to write your own review.

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Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

by Kathleen Rooney

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney X
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2017, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2018, 304 pages

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There are currently 43 reader reviews for Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
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Davida Chazan

A Life in Steps
This book made it to my "top 5 of 2017" list, and is certainly my favorite type of fiction (although usually this happens more with historical fiction, and less with contemporary fiction - of which this is essentially both), shining a light on real people about whom we know little to nothing about, and Rooney's spotlight was as startlingly bright as it was flattering. To begin with, Rooney's writing style is so sophisticated and charming that you can't help but believe that Lillian was not only a talented writer and poet, but that she must have been even more beguiling than Rooney portrays her.

Rooney's use of language is also endearingly witty, and I'm trying to figure out how many words in the thesaurus I'll need to use to describe this book, because it's already starting to run out of appropriate adjectives.

As you can see, I'm in love with this book, and that makes it terribly difficult to review without becoming so effusive that my readers get sick of me. So rather than go on and on with piles of compliments that get not only whipped cream but several cherries on top, I'm simply going to say that I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and it deserves more than just a full five stars out of five! (Note to self: where have you been all my reading life, Kathleen Rooney?)
sue

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.
Linda

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!
This was a good book! I wanted to read it, because my cousin lives in the area Lillian started out in, but I never expected it to feel as if I were reading about a real person's life. It DID feel that way to me, and I felt as if I were walking along with her that New Year's Eve! It was interesting, that the book was taking place, aside from the back-stories, in one day.

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!
Power Reviewer
Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI)

Lillian
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)

Lillian
Lillian Boxwood,84 years old, dons her mink coat and walks from her home in Grammercy Park to lower Manhattan and back again on New Year's Eve in 1984. Her walk becomes a reminiscence of her life in the City--a seemingly simple premise that evolves into the life story of a woman who is smart, elegant, opinionated, gritty, and very much in love with her adopted city.

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.

Beyond the Book:
  Margaret Fishback

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