Thursday, February 09, 2017

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

Looking to stroll through New York City on New Year's Eve with a fashionable and fearless old lady?  Lillian Boxfish is your gal and a you will enjoy every minute of your time with this character.  Told in chapters that alternate between the 1984 New Year's Eve walk and Lillian's successful career as an ad woman for R. H. Macy's in the 1930s, the novel spans a lifetime of love and loss.  The character is indeed based on a real woman named Margaret Fishback who was herself the real highest paid female advertising copywriter in the world during the 1930s.  

Shrugging off the warning from her adult son that New York isn't safe for an older woman on her own, Lillian is undaunted by the task of walking across town to a New Year's Eve party she hadn't even intended to go to.  Decked in a forgotten fur coat from the back of her closet, she encounters a mixed bag of characters along her way.  

One of the last lines of the book sum up retrospective view of life - "No one survives the future, of course.  Over the years, I have rushed it, run from it, tried to shunt myself from its track.  That these efforts did not succeed does not mean that I regret them"

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