Book Review – Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

Book Review – Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

    One of my new year’s resolutions is to read more in 2017.  There are many reasons I believe reading is good for you. But don’t take my word for it, read this interesting article that explains why.

    Book of the Month Club

     

    To help fulfill my newly minted resolution, my husband gave me a year’s subscription to the Book of the Month Club as a Christmas present. The subscription service selects 5 new books that go up on the website on the 1st of each month. Subscribers make their choice by the 6th of the month and the books are shipped on the 7th. A couple of caveats here. If you don’t like the month’s offerings then you can skip that month.  If you are eager to get your book quicker then you can pay an additional $1 and your book is shipped as soon as you make your selection. The book club encourages you to order more than one book a month and so offers pricing incentives.
    January was my first month so I followed instructions and had my selection made well before the 6th. I’m guessing January is a busy month and perhaps the MLK holiday came into play, but sadly my book did not arrive at my house until the 17th. The good news is that a bonus free book by Gillian Flynn was included. The books were beautifully packed and came with a cute bookmark.

    My Selection

     

    For January I chose the book Lillian Boxfish takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney. I had not heard of this author before and made my selection partly because the story was set in New York. The book took a little time to get into but once I warmed to Lillian I found her story fascinating and quite thought provoking.

     

    The book is the story of Lillian’s life, told as she walks the streets of NYC one New Year’s Eve in the 1980’s. I loved the subtle references to New York’s iconic landmarks of the time and how their story has unfolded since. Perhaps as a nod to Lillian’s intellect, the book is somewhat sesquipedalian in style (see it’s catching).

     

    Lillian recounts her life story beginning in 1899 (although she doesn’t like to admit her age so says 1900 instead). Not a typical lady from that era I would guess. Lillian was a career girl who shunned the idea of marriage and family. Writing advertising copy for R H Macy, Lillian became the highest paid woman in this field. Lillian also published poetry books and was quite the minor celebrity of her time. And yet, when she did finally fall in love, marry, and become pregnant she was forced to leave her career. Note the book is based on the real-life story of a woman called Margaret Fishback.

     

    The book explores issues such as women’s rights, mental illness, and societies value system throughout the years. Heavy subjects for sure, and yet Lillian’s storytelling is light with comical interludes. There is talk of a film version of this book. I look forward to my next visit to NYC and will remember Lillian’s story as I walk the streets she so beautiful described.

     

    What’s next

     

    The Book of the Month club has a discussion section on its website that allows readers to review the monthly selections. Kind of a virtual book club, it’s interesting to read other people’s opinions. The website also has a blog section that has a variety of articles. This month the author Gillian Flynn explains how she loves to be scared and to scare others.

     

    In case you were wondering, the other selections for January were:

    Lucky You by Erika Carter

    Girls in the Moon by Janel McNally

    The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

    Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

     

     

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