Lillian Boxfish is an 84 year old woman who spent her New Years Eve traipsing around New York City, reminiscing about her remarkable life and advertising career played out in the city she loved. Our Pfister Book Club celebrated the threshold of a new year with the gumption-filled voice of Lillian Boxfish, a dessert fit for the Big Apple and one another as we met in the Hall of the Presidents last Thursday to discuss Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney.
We enjoyed a delicious trio of desserts fit for Lillian herself: an apple tart with calavados mousse topped with a mini apple, a creamy New York cheesecake, and a “fancy Oreo” since in the book, Lillian finds herself compelled to binge on Oreos but wishes they were more worth her while. (This version definitely was.)
Lillian Boxfish provoked a very animated discussion about women with admirable moxie, the glass ceiling that women like Lillian were up against as career women of a previous generation, mental health and our changing response to it as a culture, the cities we’ve loved and never wanted to leave, New York in its glory days, and how it’s the seemingly inconsequential meetings we have with strangers that can indelibly mark our lives.
Book club participant Cheri and her mother Bette were on a trip to New York City on New Years Eve 1984, which is the exact night Lillian Boxfish took her walk in the novel. Cheri shared a few photos with me of that exact evening in NYC, and I thought I’d post them here because it was such a fun coincidence.
Here are the books I’ve chosen for my last four months as Narrator:
February 8: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
March 8: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
April 19 (PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS THE THIRD THURSDAY OF THE MONTH INSTEAD OF OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED SECOND THURSDAY!): The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
May 10: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Join us in February to discuss Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. I very highly recommend listening to this book on Audible because Trevor narrates it himself, which really enriches the story and sense of place.
The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.
Until we’re together again next month, I leave all you readers and new friends with this:
Oh, how scary and wonderful it is that words can change our lives simply by being next to each other. (Kamand Kojouri)