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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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Patricia L. (Seward, AK)

Yawning but still awake...
It's New Year's Eve, 1984 and Lillian Boxfish, 84, is walking to her dinner reservation while reminiscing about her life. Since the early 1920's she has lived and worked in the heart of New York City as both a copy editor and contemporary poet, remaining at the same address for the last fifty years. At the height of her career she was known not only for her witty poems, volumes of which were best sellers when people actually bought and read poetry but also as the most highly paid copy editor in advertising for R.H. Macy. Quite a feat for a woman of that time. As can be expected her fame and fortune came at great personal cost, especially considering the social norms and bias of the day. The story moves through the evening as the narrative weaves through Lillian's life. At most street corners there is a memory recalled. With every personal encounter Lillian reveals the tenacity that was honed when navigating the man's world in which she had excelled.
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk is a novel based on the real life story of Margaret Fishback. Rooney has closely mirrored Fishback's life story, so much so that at time if feels like creative non-fiction. Boxfish/Fishback's life was interesting and consequential for women as a whole especially for those who followed in Fishback's footsteps. However, the assumption of familiarity of New York City geography and culture may be presumptuous for some.
I have a friend who frequently laments that she doesn't want to read stories that haunt her at night…I will recommend this book to her. While there is no murder or mayhem, there are lessons to be learned about women's rights or lack thereof and the stamina of women who created successful careers regardless. And Lillian is the master of the fine art of making a point while remaining civil and distinguished something we could all take note of today. Recommended for all who desired a story that won't haunt them once the bedside light is turned out.
Katherine Y. (Albuquerque, NM)

Interesting character - not the best way to tell her story
Lillian Boxfish is a very interesting character and I might have enjoyed the book more if it were not all told as memories she experiences of her life on an evening when she is taking a walk. I thought that about half way through the book this method of telling the story didn't work as well any more and I lost interest in her visits to places that evoked memories.
Debra L. (Deerfield, IL)

A so so read
The story of Lillian Boxfish was slow. It was nice to have a book focus on a strong independent woman, however I did not find her life interesting.There were too few characters and not enough plot for me.

Beyond the Book:
  Margaret Fishback

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