Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

My best reads of 2017


In my reckless and undiscouraged youth, I worked in a walnut-panelled office thirteen floors above West 35th Street.

When 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish steps out of her apartment on New Year’s Eve in 1984, little does she know she’s about to embark on a journey across the whole of Manhattan.

But Lillian is no ordinary 85-year-old. On her arrival to New York in the 1930s she took the city by storm, working her way up from writing copy for Macy’s department store to become the highest paid advertising woman in the world. Now, alone on New Year’s Eve, her usual holiday ritual in ruins, Lillian decides to take a walk. After all, it might be her last chance. Armed with only her mink coat and quick-witted charm, Lillian walks, and begins to reveal the story of her remarkable life. The trouble is, once she starts walking she finds she can’t stop.

On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, Lillian meets bartenders, shopkeepers, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be, while recalling a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways she and New York have changed – and endured.


I read this book in 2017 and thought it was a wonderful, charming and fascinating story. It is beautifully written by Kathleen Rooney who gives us a terrific story full of humour, pathos, an amazing time walking the streets of New York on New Year’s Eve 1984 and the  truly fascinating story of Lillian Boxfish. The story of a brave woman, not just because she undertook a walk through the streets of New York on her own at the age of 85, but because some 50+ years before she arrived in New York and forged an incredible career in advertising. We read of the highs and lows in her career, indeed, in her life as she walks and we are drawn into this utterly charming book and its main character.

This is a delightful book and certainly one of my favourites of 2017. I highly recommend it and hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Rating:  5* Highly Recommended


Format: Kindle Edition
Print Length: 302 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250113326
Publisher: Daunt Books (29 Jun. 2017)


Available from bookshops and online including:

Author: lovebooksreadbooks

I love to read and hope you enjoy reading what I have to say about the books I have read.

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