Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Girl Runner: A Novel by Carrie Snyder

(Thank you to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about 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.

Part historical page-turner, part contemporary mystery, Girl Runner peels back the layers of time to reveal how Aganetha’s amazing gift helped her break away from a family haunted by betrayals and sorrow. But as the pieces of her life take shape, it becomes clear that the power of blood ties does not diminish through the years, and that these filmmakers may not be who they claim to be. . .
my thoughts:

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
Thank you to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!


Ti said...

I saw another review of this one the other day and now yours. Both of you make it sound so good. I am not the athletic type but my daughter is on the track team and I am often fascinated with the training that takes place.

Nadia said...

Ti, check it out. I really think you'll like it. I'm sure your daughter flies on the track like Aggie :)

Lisa said...

Wasn't this such a great surprise?!

Nadia said...

Lisa, it certainly was :)

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Aggie was certainly a pioneering character in her day - I very much admire women like her.

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Nadia said...

Heather, she definitely was and I loved reading her story. Thanks for having me on the tour :)