Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk: A Novel
by Kathleen Rooney
Hardcover- $16.93


“Transporting…witty, poignant and sparkling.”
?People (People Picks Book of the Week)

“Prescient and ...

Overall rating:


How would you rate this book?

Member ratings

  "More Than a Walk Down Memory Lane" by nbaker (see profile) 12/21/16

The story of Lillian Boxfish isn’t a mystery nor does it contain a closet filled with secrets – but it is full of life. New Year’s eve 1984 finds Lillian taking a familiar walk (miles in length) around her beloved Manhattan neighborhood that provides her an opportunity to reflect on her life, accomplishments, disappointments and dreams. In her mid 80’s, Lillian has achieved much in her life -- making a name not only for herself but for woman, in general, in the field of advertising. Her witty remarks, poems and advertisements become a household name in the 1930’s. Somewhere along the way she finds love, loses her love and almost loses herself. Old and alone she is still a self-made woman, still trying to make and find her way in life. She is eager to embrace the future and is slowly losing her foothold on the past. The long night of December 31, 1984, is more than a walk down memory lane – it is a journey into the past, a glimpse at what might have been and a dream of what will be. It is a story of relinquishing one’s hold on the world and passing the baton to the next generation. It is a story of courage and fortitude. Oh, if we all only had the eyes and heart of Lillian.

  "Walking with Lillian Boxfish" by tcheer4life (see profile) 02/22/17

I went on this walk with her. I adored this book. Beautiful writing. Wonderful character driven book of an elderly woman reviewing her life while she walks on New Year's Eve. Could have been maudlin, but Lillian is and always have been a strong woman. Bravo Lillian and thank you Kathleen Rooney for bringing her into my life. I know I will read this over and over again. (This from someone with 4000 books on my TBR.)

  "OK" by Tbaker123 (see profile) 03/05/17

Well-written, interesting story. Our club liked the book, and we did have a lively discussion, however, we all agreed that we felt the book was a bit boring. We agreed that the main character was well-developed, but the story should have evolved and ended differently.

  "LIllian Boxfish Takes a Walk" by Carolynr (see profile) 03/27/17

It’s the last day of 1984, and 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish is about to take a walk.
As she traverses a grittier Manhattan, a city anxious after an attack by a still-at-large subway vigilante, she encounters bartenders, bodega clerks, chauffeurs, security guards, bohemians, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be—in surprising moments of generosity and grace. While she strolls, Lillian recalls a long and eventful life that included a brief reign as the highest-paid advertising woman in America—a career cut short by marriage, motherhood, divorce, and a breakdown.

A love letter to city life—however shiny or sleazy—Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.

This book is based on the life of Margaret Fishback who was a poet and ad writer for Macy's in the 30's. I believe i may have to take the author up on reading some of her poetry and books. Surprisingly to me, I loved this book. Not sure all her encounters are realistic in real life, but I loved reading her summary of her life as she wanders the streets of NYC on new Years eve. Would definitely recommend this. Excellent read.

Remember me

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.


Our July Chat with Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Forever, Interrupted
Chat Live with Marie Bostwick, NYT bestselling author of The Second Sister

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...