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Review by Suze
Aganetha Smart is 104 years old. She lives in a nursing home and is completely dependent on others. She thinks she has nobody left, but then two young people pick her up for an outing. They're making a documentary, so they're filming her and they're taking her to her childhood home. During the trip all kinds of memories of the past come to the surface. Aganetha used to be a famous runner who won a gold Olympic medal. Joining the Canadian women's running team was the highlight of her running days, but it was also a difficult time in her life. As a rural girl in the big city she had a lot to discover and some lessons she had to learn the hard way. She's survived everyone she knew and the question is why the two young people are showing an interest in her all of a sudden
Girl Runner is a beautiful story about a talented woman. Aganetha grew up on a farm. She moved to the city when she was old enough to work. Life on the farm wasn't always easy and her family knew some big tragedies. She had the freedom to run how far she wanted to though and she could beat everyone in the village. City life is different and Aganetha has to grow up pretty fast. She can be a bit naïve and I felt bad for her at times. I wanted her to have a happy and carefree time, but many emotional situations kept getting in her way. Aganetha has an interesting history, but certainly not an easy one. Even though she won an important gold medal she didn't really win in life.
It was great to read about the running and to find out how it felt for Aganetha. Her legs can take her wherever she wants to go. I enjoyed reading about that freedom. However, she also has to deal with work and relationships. She struggles with the same things a lot of girls her age in that time struggled with. Some of the scenes were heartbreaking and Carrie Snyder is good at portraying emotions. I love her writing style, it has an easy flow and I liked the way she mixes the past with the present. She writes vividly and paints a clear picture of Aganetha and everything she went through. The story has a lot of interesting twists and turns and it shows that love can come in many different ways. I enjoyed reading this wonderful story very much.