Kathleen Rooney “Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk”

This book is inspired by the life and work of a poet and ad woman Margaret Fishback.

The story has been told from the perspective of an 85-year-old lady. Her name is Lillian Boxfish.

She has made a successful career as a copywriter in New York. She has also written poems and worked as a freelancer. She has always been an independent and self-righteous woman. With her critical mind, straightforwardness, creativity, sense of humour and life energy she achieved a lot at that time.

In her private life Lillian has had ups and downs. From getting married with Max and having a baby till getting divorced and breaking emotionally down, plus experiencing death of Max and his second wife Julia, – those are the bigger milestones of her private life.

Walking actually saved her life. Without the walking she felt herself very exhausted. She was addicted to walking in the city. She had always liked urban landscapes and never wanted to live in the countryside or in the suburbs.

Her walks are a flashback to the past. They describe and analyse different life stages, situations and destiny of an individual, but also reflect a wider historical and cultural context of that time.

85-year old Lillian is a free spirit who gladly lives alone in the city even if life there is more dangerous than in the countryside. She loves her son and grandchildren very much, but prefers to live on her own.

On the one hand, Lillian is a creative and emotional person, but on the other hand very rational and critical. Despite her old age she’s adventurous and brave, taking care of herself physically and mentally.

Fluently and elegantly written, this book is an enjoyable reading. It’s like a long journey into the autumn of life, where ripe apples flop down from apple tree, and the only thing that has left to be done is to pick them up and sell for free.

The only minus is that this book is available only in electronic version. I would recommend to order it on paper as well.


Daunt Books, 2017

Check from the e-catalogue ESTER.
Check from the OverDrive digital library.

Kadi Eslon
Department of Literature in Foreign Languages

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