Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
Written by: Kathleen Rooney
Narrated by: Xe Sands
Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
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 took me on a journey through Manhattan, a place that I love. I enjoyed traveling through 1984 Manhattan with Lillian, a very poised 85 year old woman.
Her journey takes her from Murry Hill to Herald Square where she spent her working years as an advertising executive for Macy’s department store.
I don’t think Lillian ever met a stranger. She had a knack for getting anyone to talk to her, and found quite a few diverse strangers during her New Years Eve walk to talk to. She also had a knack for getting out of what could be dangerous situations.
We learn a lot about Lillian as she walks. She talks about her marriage and son, and her years at Macy and co-workers. About the city and how it’s changed.
I really loved the time I spent listening to this audiobook. It’s narrated by Xe Sands who did a great job with Lillian’s voice. She sounded just like the woman described in the book. She also gave the other characters their own distinct voice.
This book made me fall in love with Manhattan from a different time. It’s an amazing city. There were parts that were sad, parts that were hilarious, and I enjoyed every word.