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Girl Runner by Carrie Snyder

Click to visit Carrie Snyder's blog.

If you’re going to read Girl Runner, cancel all of your plans and get comfortable because you are not going to want to put this book down. Agnetha Smart’s story is so captivating and consumed me so fully, I read the book in 2 days and I’m a slow reader!

* CONTAINS SPOILERS

THE AUTHOR
Carrie Snyder is a Canadian author whose first book, Hair Hat, was nominated for a Danuta Gleed Award. Carrie’s second book, The Juliet Stories, was a finalist for the 2012 Governor General’s Award for fiction. She blogs at Obscure Canlit Mama.

THE STORY
At the age of 104, Agnetha Smart may be frail of both body and mind, but her memories of a life full of love and disconnection, glory and failure, and running – always running toward or away from something – remains deep within. From a tumultuous childhood with her family in rural Ontario, to a working girl in the big city of Toronto, to competing as a Canadian athlete in the 1920 Olympics in Amsterdam, Aggie always strives to push the limits that try to restrain her. It takes a lifetime of disappointment and regret for Aggie to realize that it was not her destiny to be anchored to one person or one place. She was born to keep moving.

THE GOOD
Girl Runner is simply a damn good story. I really liked Aggie Smart because she is a spirited girl who is painfully and intuitively aware that no one understands her. In her winter years and as a more confident woman, she is brazen and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. There was something so satisfying about following her journey from barefooted little girl to don’t-count-her-out-just-yet centenarian. Possibly because I am a woman on my own journey who could relate to some of the things Aggie experienced and felt.

THE BAD
So much happens in Girl Runner, it may have been nice if some storylines were fleshed out a little more fully. For instance, I would have liked to have learned more about sister Frannie’s affair or brother Robbie’s secret family.

CONCLUSION
Although Carrie Snyder’s narrative slips back and forth in time and location, the story remains solid and coherent. It almost felt like I was caught up in the delirium of Aggie Smart’s memories, tumbling through the years as she looks back on her life, yet completely understanding how all of the pieces fall together. I loved this book from start to finish, and there was very little I disliked. As a very pleasant introduction to Carrie Snyder’s work, I highly recommend Girl Runner.

4/5 Stars

NOTE: I received a copy of Girl Runner with much thanks to House of Anansi, but this in no way influenced the thoughts and opinions expressed in my review.

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13 comments on “Girl Runner by Carrie Snyder

  1. Amber O (AmberBug)
    September 18, 2014

    Okay, so… is this very sport heavy? I’m not much for sport themed books but I’m still intrigued.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 18, 2014

      It’s not very sporty at all, more of a memoir-like story. I found the themes were more along the lines of being true to oneself, trying to connect with others, figuring out where you belong …

      Like

  2. Naomi
    September 18, 2014

    Yay! I’m so happy to hear that it’s good! This one is already on my list- I have just been waiting to hear about it. 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 18, 2014

      I think you will like it. I can’t wait to hear what you think.

      Like

  3. Cecilia
    September 18, 2014

    This sounds great! I like what you said about being on a similar kind of journey and enjoying the book for that reason. This sounds like something I had gone through 10 years ago and that I am sure I’m still going through.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 19, 2014

      The journey never ends, does it? I keep forgetting that we can learn so much from fictional characters as we do real women.

      Like

  4. kmn04books
    September 18, 2014

    I’ve heard SO many great things about this book, most of which begin with “you will not want to put this book down”! I’m glad you feel the same way. Now I’m extra excited to read it!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 19, 2014

      It was a great story, I think you will like it and I can’t wait to hear what you think about it.

      Like

  5. lauratfrey
    September 19, 2014

    Oooo man I couldn’t put it down either, stayed up till midnight twice in a row and cried my eyes out. I almost feel like it got a little maudlin, or like, emotionally manipulative – too much death and loss (and I don’t say that often.) But I loved it anyway.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 19, 2014

      So good. It was definitely heavy on the emotion and pulling on the heart strings. But I think things happened so fast, I didn’t have time to cry. 🙂

      Like

  6. Brian Joseph
    September 19, 2014

    Though they seem to be common lately, I tend to like stories involving an older person looking back on a long life.

    I do agree that a book like this really should dig into the details of interesting plot developments.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      September 19, 2014

      I recently finished The Remains of the Day and that was definitely a good book about someone looking back on their life.

      Like

  7. Pingback: Girl Runner by Carrie Snyder | Consumed by Ink

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