Wednesday, June 21, 2017

BBRBF Book Club: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

Happy mid-June, my peanuts! I believe the first of day of Summer was yesterday and someday New England will catch up to that fact (we've had a few lovely days here and there that get to be 75 degrees F but then it very quickly returns to rain and chilly temps maxing out at 55 degrees F) but for now, we'll just keep pretending it's been one long ass month of April to make us feel better. You know the saying, April showers bring...

Well, it better bring something!

This month, our little BBRBF Book Club brings you Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney, a lovely little story about 85-year-old Lillian as she makes her way across NYC on New Year's Eve.

Be sure to keep an eye on the other club members' blogs for their thoughts and inspired outfits: Helene from Circle Skirts and Petticoats, Kristina from Eyre Effect, Noelle from The Classy Junk,  Laci Fay, and Justyna from Hazel & Honey!

Lillian Boxfish is what most would consider old and worn but she has enough sass and vibrancy to fill a village - not to mention motivation to walk all across the city in the dead of winter! I knew I liked her from the start - for when we meet her, she is speaking to her son on the phone and mindlessly eating half a package of Oreos (who hasn't been there, am I right?). After her call, she is mortified to no one but herself because she has foolishly filled up on cookies just before her New Year's Eve dinner reservation.

She decides to walk everywhere in hopes to work up some hunger. Lillian only a few destinations in mind and as she walks to each, she takes us back through her life - from her time as a copywriter for Macy's in the 1930's, becoming a wife followed by a mother, a dark period in which she is forced to undergo electric shock therapy, a bitter divorce, friendships made and lost, and more.

Personally, I love this style of storytelling - remaining in the present and following one seemingly simple story line but learning so much and experiencing the world with the protagonist through their POV via memories and flashbacks. It really draws you in and brings you close to the character. I often feel so much for the character when their story is told this way.

I decided to wear an outfit I could picture Lillian wearing to work everyday back in her heyday that also coordinated with the colors of the cover. I layered my Pinup Girl Clothing Sabrina top over this floral Dolly & Dotty dress to create the illusion of separates.

I loved Lillian Boxfish from the start - she and I have a lot in common as well as a lot NOT in common. For one, she is a strong and fierce business woman who had no interest in becoming a wife (though she winds up falling for the buyer in the rug department in spite of this and agreeing to marry him).

While I do enjoy my job, I am so old fashioned and would love nothing more than being able to have a baby or two and stay home and take care of the family and house. I know, I am an awful feminist and live in the wrong decade! Lillian would totally scoff at me if she heard of my desires!

Still, we have writing in common. She loves to write (she is a published poet) and thrives from creating clever copy for Macy's advertisements. I have always loved to write. I wrote fiction from middle school on, writing full novels and printing them for my friends to read. I am not kidding! How I came up with such in depth ideas is still a mystery to me.

I haven't written a novel in years (unfortunately, adulthood has killed that part of me - I have NO desire to sit at a screen to write after spending all day at a computer for work) but I have my blog for this reason. I get to write to you lovely peanuts twice a week while modeling my lovely outfits and that satisfies my writing tooth enough for now!