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The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise

by Colleen Oakley

The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise by Colleen Oakley X
The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise by Colleen Oakley
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Linda Z. (Melville, NY)

The Adventures of the Young and Old
Colleen Oakley, the author of "The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise," has written a unique and riveting novel. The genres are Literary Friendship Fiction, Contemporary, Humor, Mystery, and Women's Fiction. The timeline is written in the author's present and goes to the past regarding the characters or events. The author describes her colorful and dramatic characters as complex, complicated, quirky, and full of surprises! In this novel, Colleen Oakley's characters are reminiscent of Thelma and Louise. Tanner Quimby is 21, and after a tragic accident, mopes around her house, ruminating about what might have been. Tanner also plays video games and has no money. She is encouraged to care for an elderly woman. Louise Wilt has fallen and required surgery. She is a seasoned 80-ish-year-old woman with an interesting past and many secrets. Louise's children insist that she have a "Nanny." Louise has a routine and really would like to be independent. When Tanner and Louise meet, they are like oil and water. Tanner is immediately aware of quirky behaviors of Louise. It seems that Louise is not exactly the typical 80 -ish type of person. Then again, Tanner doesn't appear to be a typical 21-year-old person either. Tanner is in for quite a surprise when Louise insists they leave town immediately. The two go on an adventure with twists and turns. There are rumors of a large jewel heist from the seventies, and Louise seems to be called another name when she meets some people. There are twists and turns. Louise is on a mission to find someone and, at the same time, avoids both a criminal and the law. I enjoyed this delightful adventure as two women tried to remedy the mistakes from the past to be able to move on to the present and future. I love that the author discusses the importance of family, friendship, and hope. I highly recommend this enjoyable novel.
Mark S. (Blauvelt, NY)

A "Jewel" of a Story
Hats off to Colleen Oakley for writing a story that made me want to read even when I had absolutely no time to do so. This novel is definitely one of the most entertaining stories I have read in the last year. I love the way that the characters are developed both individually and through the relationships between them. Once the plot took off, I did not want to put it down and was sad when it was over. After finishing the story, I felt as if I had simultaneously predicted the ending and gotten it almost entirely wrong. Maybe one of my favorite things about the book is my inability to classify it in any one category. In addition to some really great lines, the novel is a great combination of snarky banter and sentimentality that would be a hit in any book club. I will definitely be reading Oakley's other novels!
Shawna (TX)

Ageless Friendships and Family Secrets
What an unexpectedly enjoyable book! At first glance, you might not consider this novel for a book group. I will choose this for my group. There are many themes to discuss including family secrets and what to share or not share; friendships between young adults and mature adults; and what happens when you are really there for someone.
DeAnn A. (Denver, CO)

Unlikely Pair
This delightful tale features an entirely capable 80-year-old woman (until she falls) and a 21-year-old young woman, forced together to help each other out. Louise needs someone to drive her to appointments while she recovers from her injury and Tanner needs a job and a place to live after too many outbursts with her parents and recovering from her own injury.

The book takes a sudden turn when Louise wakes up Tanner in the middle of the night saying that they must leave town immediately. The two of them embark on a madcap drive across the country with Louise not giving Tanner much insight into what she is doing. Just who is Louise and why is she fleeing? And why is Tanner agreeing to help her?

There was a surprise twist at the end and one of my favorite lines comes from August and the word homophone. I love a smart character who knows vocabulary!

I really enjoyed the unlikely pairing of these two characters and their road adventures. I think this would make an excellent book club book that would generate a lot of discussions.
Mary B. (St Paul, MN)

The Mostly True Story
This book was a delight to read. The two main characters are years apart in age and very different in temperament. Thrown together by misfortune, they struggle to maintain a relationship. Both characters became more likable to me as the story went on and I learned more about them.
Humor abounds throughout the story amongst all the characters. There is also a great deal of warmth and sweetness to story.

Being an older reader myself, I like the idea of a strong older character.

There is a bit of a mystery involved, with twists and turns making it a very enjoyable read.
Elizabeth L. (Salem, OR)

Fun Read
I really enjoyed this book. It parallels the movie Thelma and Louise but puts a fresh spin on it. I'm not (too) close to the ages of either character but thought that the depictions were age appropriate. Well written and did not have any "take you out of the book" phrasing/sections that I often rant to my husband about.
Sylvia L. (Suwanee, GA)

The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louse
I loved this fun adventure, mystery and the developing friendship of the two women. I highly recommend it. The characters are well developed and their banter and antics will keep you engrossed and wondering what will happen next. Tanner is 21, angry and adrift since she lost her soccer scholarship due to her leg injury. Louise is 84, smart, spunky, quirky, and has a mysterious past that even her family doesn't know about. Her daily routine includes a crossword puzzle and 4 pm vodka happy hour. After Louise breaks her hip, her daughter hires Tanner as caregiver. Their adventure begins when Louise wakes Tanner in the middle of the night to drive her from Atlanta to California to help a friend. Tanner only agrees when Louise offers to pay her. They have challenges and scares on the trip as they try to outrun the FBI. Was Louise the woman on the news who masterminded a 3 million dollar jewelry heist forty years ago? In spite of their sixty year age difference, the unlikely pair learn lessons from each other and develop a caring friendship. I laughed a lot at their misadventures and I enjoyed this delightful book.
Kathy D. (Spotsylvania, VA)

Filled with surprises!
I was drawn into this story from the very first chapter. The relationship between Tanner and Louise, generations apart, evolved from a frosty, almost hostile beginning, forced together through mutual need, to one of trust, where each felt drawn to confess their fears and secrets to the other. Filled with humor and surprises galore, this was one of those books I couldn't put down. There were lots of "wow, I didn't see that coming!" moments. This would be a great choice for bookclub discussions, and I intend to recommend it to mine. I think it would make an entertaining movie, too! Just saying...

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