~ 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. (via Goodreads)
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk is the first 2017 release that I actually read in 2017, but I’m not sure that I liked it. It wasn’t a bad novel, it was just a distant one.
It really was a love letter to New York on New Year’s Eve, in all its strange glory, and with all its different people. Lillian was snarky, stubborn and still hopeful, which was delightful to read.
I would have liked to learn more about her as a career woman, because it was so much a part of her life, but it felt like it was just glanced over because it wasn’t what she was doing at the time of the book.
However, I had two large issues with the novel. My biggest issue is the entire plot of the novel is summed up in the summary above. My other big issue was that every character was a caricature of a real person, and we never got close enough to any of them to really feel invested in the story. My favorite minor character was Penny, the little kid from the restaurant, and I think she had three lines.
That’s why this is a three star review for me. It comes out tomorrow, and if this sounds more like your cup of tea, you can pick up a copy through Amazon, Indiebound, or your other favorite bookseller.