It’s the final day of 1984 and Lillian Boxfish is wandering around New York City in a fur coat. She’s eighty-some years old, a widow and a grandma. She’s lived a good life, even if she is beginning to feel like an irrelevant dinosaur. Back in her heyday, Lillian was the highest paid woman in advertising. She earned the reputation while working at R.H. Macy department store and crafting clever, cheeky prose to appeal to consumers during a time when people actually read ads. As Lillian makes her way around her Manhattan stomping grounds on New Year’s Eve, she interacts with strangers: bartenders, store clerks, fellow restaurant goers, security guards and more. Lillian, with her charm and straightforwardness, seems to have a knack for finding the humanity in every situation.
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk is a bittersweet trip down memory lane. It’s a tale of transitioning from fame and a fast-paced career to a quieter, more solitude existence. The novel also presents a subtle social commentary on how we treat the elderly and, in turn, how they create meaning in their later years. Lillian’s zest for life, even in the face of time and tragedy, will endear readers. Fans of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye, another novel about a character embarking on long walk, might want to consider joining this literary journey too.