Girl Runner is a plot-driven narrative of one of those forgotten women, fictional 104-year-old Aganetha “Aggie” Smart. Now wheelchair-bound, alone and abandoned in a nursing home, Aggie asks, “Who will write my obituary?” now that everyone who knew her is gone. The ambitious and uncompromising Aggie reflects on her rich and storied life: her childhood in rural Ontario, her work at the Rosebud Confectionary factory, the friendships she forged, her brief fame as a 1920s Olympic track star and Canadian darling, and her failures and triumphs along the way.
It is a feminist book, yet written in an accessible way for those who may not reflect on the complex issues facing women in sport. The novel also touches on a variety of subjects beyond athletics, including abortion and employment equality, and features the kind of positive female relationships rarely seen in mainstream literature.