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.
I have to be honest and say that I don’t exactly know why I chose this book January 2017 for my Book of the Month subscription. After starting it, I didn’t know what drew me to it even after reading the synopsis which may explain why it remained on my shelf untouched for a year with no thought or desire to read it. But since I am participating in the Unread Shelf Project 2018 and I drew this title from my Book of the Month TBR can, I figured I would put the energy into reading it. In this story, we follow Lillian and I mean literally follow her and she makes her journey thru New York City on New Year’s Eve 1984, by foot. During her walk, she recalls several events that have happened throughout her life. I won’t say that this was a terrible book because it wasn’t. Lillian is actually a hoot. My issue with the book is that she was so wordy. I can see why she needed to be that way since the story is told from the point of view of an elderly person, but good grief! I think this short novel is the LONGEST one I have read in a long time. For it to not have even broken the 300 page mark, it sure did feel like it was about 500 pages with the way that Lillian speaks. She turns a paragraph into a lengthy speech and there were some points I wanted to turn on the award’s show “wrap it up” music, lol. My favorite part of the novel is when she is describing a rap song that she hears while walking and it clearly is a song that she has heard before but she doesn’t know the title or artist but she does enjoy the music. I think I read that particular passage twice, lol. I will add picture of the passage to this review.
This is a novel that I would have a hard time recommending only because there isn’t anything in it that is a selling point for myself. I am interested in seeing what the author has to offer for her next novel. I do hope that it is not centered around a wordy old woman though.
I have to give this novel 3.5 stars
This book is available wherever books are sold.