|(Thank you to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
An unforgettable novel about competition, ambition, and a woman’s struggle to earn a place in a man’s world, Girl Runner is the story of 1928 Olympic gold medalist Aganetha Smart. Will Aganetha’s undeniable talent help her to outrun the social conventions of her time, or the burden of her family’s secrets?
As a young runner, Aganetha Smart defied everyone’s expectations to win a gold medal for Canada in the 1928 Olympics. It was a revolutionary victory, because these were the first Games in which women could compete in track events—and they did so despite opposition. But now Aganetha is in a nursing home, and nobody realizes that the frail centenarian was once a bold pioneer.
When two young strangers appear asking to interview Aganetha for their documentary about female athletes, she readily agrees. Despite her frailty, she yearns for adventure and escape, and though her achievement may have been forgotten by history, her memories of chasing gold in Amsterdam remain sharp. But that triumph is only one thread in the rich tapestry of her life. Her remarkable story is colored by tragedy as well as joy, and as much as Aganetha tries, she cannot outrun her past.
What an emotionally moving and engrossing read! I absolutely loved Girl Runner by Carrie Snyder. This book is a terrific exploration of family dynamics (and drama), the art of competition (think competitive sports - running), and the consequences of blind ambition. Told from Aganetha Smart's (Aggie) confused, 104 year-old perspective the story tends to time jump from her childhood and adulthood to her present life. I have to admit that at times I found the back and forth a bit distracting, but overall I felt it showed the befuddled state of mind a centenarian would be in after living so many years. Especially, a life as full as Aggie's - the first woman to win the gold medal for the 800 meter track event in the Olympics (1928 Amsterdam). Of course life isn't all gold medals and fame - through Aggie's memories we learn about her love of running and the freedom it instilled in her, along with the ups and downs she's endured throughout her long life. And, of course we learn the truth about the two strangers who have come to visit Aggie; which was slightly predictable, but nonetheless made for an interesting storyline. Now, I know I haven't really provided any full details regarding the story, but that is because you need to experience it for yourself. You need to read about how Aggie felt when she ran - the way her body moved and how it felt like flying. This is one book you don't want to miss!
Girl Runner is truly a great read! I found myself utterly captivated and intrigued by Aggie's story and would definitely recommend it to fans of women's fiction - you will love it!
Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Girl Runner