Review: The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise

The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise by Colleen Oakley
Publisher: Berkley
Pub Date: 3/28/2023

Thank you to Berkley for the free copy and PRH Audio for the free audiobook copy in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GoodReads Synopsis: Twenty-one-year-old Tanner Quimby needs a place to live. Preferably one where she can continue sitting around in sweatpants and playing video games nineteen hours a day. Since she has no credit or money to speak of, her options are limited, so when an opportunity to work as a live-in caregiver for an elderly woman falls into her lap, she takes it.

One slip on the rug. That’s all it took for Louise Wilt’s daughter to demand that Louise have a full-time nanny living with her. Never mind that she can still walk fine, finish her daily crossword puzzle, and pour the two fingers of vodka she drinks every afternoon. Bottom line — Louise wants a caretaker even less than Tanner wants to be one.

The two start off their living arrangement happily ignoring each other until Tanner starts to notice things—weird things. Like, why does Louise keep her garden shed locked up tighter than a prison? And why is the local news fixated on the suspect of one of the biggest jewelry heists in American history who looks eerily like Louise? And why does Louise suddenly appear in her room, with a packed bag at 1 a.m. insisting that they leave town immediately?

Thus begins the story of a not-to-be-underestimated elderly woman and an aimless young woman who—if they can outrun the mistakes of their past—might just have the greatest adventure of their lives.

Review: The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise is the second book I’ve read from Colleen Oaklay and I enjoyed this! This contemporary romance has an element of mystery, friendship, female power, and finding your way. Tanner Quimby, a 21-year-old with no money or credit, takes a job as a live-in caregiver for an elderly woman named Louise Wilt. Although Louise does not want a caretaker, the two women eventually form an unlikely bond. However, strange things start to happen, including Louise’s involvement in a heist, and the two women embark on an adventure together. This book gave me major Thelma and Louise vibes and I’m here for it! Their intricacies were fascinating to me and the author’s ability to capture their distinct mannerisms was impressive. The book’s structure, with sections dedicated to before, during, and after Tanner and Louise’s journey, as well as intermittent commentary from Louise’s adult children, was effective in pacing the story which I appreciated. The only part I didn’t like was that it felt slightly lengthy. The audiobook narrator really brought the story to life for me which made this a compelling read. Definitely recommend picking this one up!