Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk
By Kathleen Rooney
This novel follows 85 year-old Lillian Boxfish on a walk through New York City on New Years Eve 1985. Her walk is full of remembrances, new friends, and her love for this New York City.What did it make me think about?
Whenever I read novels about older people looking back on their lives, I am struck by the many changes in our world in the last century. Lillian Boxfish is no exception.
Should I read it?
I was all set to say “NO!”. However the book definitely grew on me by the second half. Lillian narrates and initially her voice was just not my favorite. She was way more clever than kind, and that just grated on my nerves. As the novel progresses Lillian shows more vulnerabilities and I did warm to her. Interestingly the novel is loosely based on a real woman whose life much resembled Lillian’s. Still not my favorite book, but for those who love New York City it may be worth it.
“This, I am reminded, is why I love walking in the city, taking to the streets in pursuit of some spontaneous and near-arbitrary objective. If one knocks oneself out of one’s routine- and in so doing knocks others gently out of theirs- then one can now and again create these momentary opportunities to be better than one is.”