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Publisher's Summary

It's the last day of 1984, and 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish is about to take a walk....

'In my reckless and undiscouraged youth,' Lillian Boxfish writes, 'I worked in a walnut-paneled office 13 floors above West 35th Street.' She took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R. H. Macy's to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country. It was a job that, she says, 'in some ways saved my life and in other ways ruined it'.

Now it's the last night of 1984, and Lillian, 85 years old but just as sharp and savvy as ever, is on her way to a party. It's chilly enough out for her mink coat, and Manhattan is grittier now - her son keeps warning her about a subway vigilante on the prowl - but the quick-tongued poetess has never been one to scare easily.

On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, she meets bartenders, bodega clerks, security guards, criminals, children, parents and parents-to-be while reviewing a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed - and has not.

A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, 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 and from the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop. Lillian figures she might as well take her time. For now, after all, the night is still young.

©2016 Kathleen Rooney (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Extraordinary...hilarious...elegantly written, Rooney creates a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time - and an unabashed celebration of human connections that bridge past and future." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Effervescent with verve, wit, and heart, Rooney's nimble novel celebrates insouciance, creativity, chance, and valor." ( Booklist)
"A lively, fictionalized version of Fishback's story...[with] plenty of charm." ( Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

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  • Tracey
  • 20-09-17

Slow starter but stick with it

At first I found the prose a little bit fussy but after a while I came to enjoy it and looked forward to the slow reveal of the story. Lillian Boxfish is a wonderfully drawn character who I could imagine is like Marmite, fortunately I came to love her

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  • jane shipway
  • 09-05-18

Great book but accent too much

Fantastic story but the American accent was very difficult to understand, especially last thing at night. I resorted to buying a paper copy for reading in tandem with the audio version. It was worth it as it’s a heartwarming take.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-09-21

Hard to follow

Even though it was a good story I found it extremely hard to keep my focus . Narration was very monotonous although I like that the voice fit with the main character

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-04-18

Take a Walk with Lillian

I very much enjoyed Lillian's ramble through New York while telling us the story of her life but what made this book extra special was the excellent narration by Xe Sands who perfectly embodied the character.