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; 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.
The Second Thursday Book Club meets in the Community Room on January 12th from 10-11a. All are welcome. Pick up the book club book of the month at the circulation desk.
2023 Book Club Picks
February 9 - Beartown by Frederik Backman
March 9 - Desert Chrome by Kathryn Wilder
April 13 - This is Happiness by Niall Williams
May 11 - Horse by Geraldine Brooks
June 8 - Circling the Sun by Paula McClain
July 13 - Commonwealth by Anne Patchett
August 10 - Now Is Not the Time to Panic by Kevin Wilson
September 14 - The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede
October 12 - Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
November 9 - Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
January 11 - Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout