Cover Image: The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise

The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise

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Member Reviews

This multigenerational novel will have you laugh out loud and give you all the feelings. There was mystery and humor that left me with lots of questions as I was reading in all the best ways.
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This delightful caper is perfect for fans of A Man Called Ove and Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting who would like just a smattering of law breaking and adventure filled road tripping with their beloved curmudgeonly main characters. I fell in love with Tanner and Louise and suspect you will too.
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A sweet story about two women who could not be more different. 21 year old Tanner becomes octogenarian Louise’s caretaker after losing her college scholarship and moving home. Louise wants nothing to do with her and has a secret of her own. together they travel cross country and along the way find themselves.
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Thank you to NetGalley, author Colleen Oakley, and Berkley Publishing Group for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for my honest opinion!

This book was so fun!! I was in the mood to read something that was feel-good, and this was absolutely the right pick. I LOVE anything that is the dynamic of an older woman and a younger woman teaming up together whether or not they get along, and this was so well done. There were several funny moments, several heartwarming moments, and a lot of adventure along the way. Tanner and Louise were a great pair that complimented each other so well; I found that I could relate to both of the women in various ways, and as a reader, the bond between them felt relatable and real. The book didn't shy away from a couple of harder topics either, and I appreciated Oakley for going in depth and highlighting some topics, such as depression in younger people and doing the overall right thing even if it seems wrong. I was able to root for both characters all along the way, and I enjoyed that the book had a few twists that genuinely surprised me. I didn't feel that the inclusion of a few chapters focused on the FBI was necessary, as it kind of took me out of the stride of the book. I would have also enjoyed diving in a bit more to Tanner's life outside of her relationship with Louise and seeing Louise's story revealed a bit earlier on. However, those minor details did not stop me from flying through this read, and all I can say now is that I'm ready to see Tanner and Louise on the big screen, so studios take note!
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This one had to grow on me a bit, because at first I didn't really like Tanner OR Louise. The book starts with one of Louise's daughters reporting that her elderly mother has been kidnapped. Or so they think. In reality, Louise decides she needs to go on the run; for reasons we will learn later on, and she takes her caretaker/live in driver Tanner with her. Their adventure and their relationship ended up getting better, which in turn made the book harder to put down. If you can stick with it and bare through their annoying personalities in the beginning; this one is a feel good one.
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I couldn't have loved The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise anymore. It follows the story of an unlikely pair, Tanner, a college dropout, and Louise, a 84-year-old woman who is recovering from a hip injury. Tanner is hired to live with Louise and drive her to appointments when they find themselves on the run from the law. 

There were parts that were laugh-out-loud funny. There were parts that felt like a warm hug. The writing is fantastic. The antics of Tanner and Louise will have you turning the pages wanting to know what happens next. The ending was perfect, and I loved all the little twists and turns of the story.

Add The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise to your reading list. It's not to be missed.
Thank you Berkley Publishing and NetGalley for the eARC!
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A story with an elderly lady that may or may not be a wanted felon? Count. Me. In.

Louise is an elderly widower hiding from her past. When she receives a call from George, she must decide if she will come out of hiding to save George from a gangster, or protect her life for the past 40 some odd years. Tanner is a college senior, out recuperating from an injuring. She moves in to help Louise around her house. One evening Tanner sees a FBI wanted poster of someone who looks like Louise, just to be woken up in the middle of the night to run away from the cops. The story unfolds from there….and what a tale it is. 

This book had me laughing, rolling my eyes, yelling at my kindle, and more. It was such a great story! I loved me some Louise and Tanner….and August.
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I received a digital advance copy of The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise by Colleen Oakley via NetGalley. The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise is scheduled for release on March 28, 2023.

Tanner is twenty-one, trying to pull her life back together after a soccer-career ending injury, and has just been told she is no longer welcome to squat pathetically in her parents’ house. Louise is far past twenty-one, recovering from a broken hip, and has been told by her daughter that she can no longer live alone. The result is an unwilling caretaker moving in with an equally unwilling patient. This awkward living arrangement is peaceful, until Tanner begins to notice some strange things. A locked shed, a mysterious handsome neighbor, and finally a newcast with a picture of a woman that looks suspiciously like Louise. When Louise appears in Tanner’s room in the middle of the night, demanding that they have to head to California immediately, Tanner reluctantly joins Louise on a road trip that will shift the paths of both of their lives.

Tanner and Louise are a delightful duo. Neither of them is warm or welcoming. Each is holding things that they’d rather not share with anyone. They dance around each other, bickering, pulling, and pushing in a way that is fun to watch. As they encounter other people on their trip, the differences in their reactions add depth to their characters and create new conflicts for them to deal with.

On their journey, we learn more about Louise’s past and what she is running from. There were some reveals that I saw coming, and others that took me by surprise. Throughout their adventure, the story explores what is (and has been) expected of women, what women expect of themselves, and how they support (or don’t) each other. 

Overall, The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise is an unlikely buddy story with a big heart.
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This was a cute one! I’m not a huge fan of cozy mysteries, so the fact that I even made it through The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise says a lot! 😂

Louise is a lady of a certain age who has a hip problem and is not as spritely as she once was. Tanner is a former soccer star who’s career ending accident has upended her life plans. The two women come together when an old friend reaches out to Louise for help.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy!
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🎧Song Pairing: I Fought The Law - The Clash 

💭What I thought would happen:

Well first off I thought Tanner was a man and Louise was the love interest 😂 perhaps friends or enemies to lovers coupled with forced proximity/
one bed. 

📖What actually happens: 

Tanner is hired by Louise as a live in caregiver which is great since Tanner has nowhere to live, no money and no credit. To Tanner’s dismay Louise is quite a handful and chalked full of unsolicited opinions. 

When the story of a possibly discovered cat burglar  of one of the biggest jewel heists in history drops, Louise is in a bit of an alert move where she needs to be transported to a friend. Did Tanner just become an accessory to a federal offence? Shenanigans ensue on this possibly Thelma and Louise like road trip. 


What a unique and interesting premise! That being said, I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to but you know what throw a feisty older woman and a lost younger gal together any day and I know I’ll always be entertained. 

The ending felt like utter chaos and was a bit of a struggle to keep up with, when I finally did catch on I was like ok ok that’s clever! 

For fans of: 
🚗Road trip storylines 
💖Unexpected friendships 
📕Literary Fiction
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The strange road trip of a 84 year old and a 21 year old. This book made me a laugh out loud. I love when there is an octogenarian character. The relationship between Louise and Tanner reminded me of when my grandmother and I went on a road trip. There wasn’t any racy or violent scenes so I can definitely recommend this to my grandmother and mom.
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Tanner is 21-years-old and at her life’s crossroads.  The college soccer player suffered a career ending leg injury, dropped out and spends her days playing video games.  Forced to find a job, Tanner becomes the live-in helper to 84-year-old Louise who needs mobility help.  The odd couple co-exist under Louise’s strict timetable until a mysterious phone call comes in the night and they have to flee.  Tanner finds herself behind the wheel of a classic Jaguar on a road trip from Atlanta to California and she’s convinced Louise was the mastermind behind a huge jewelry robbery.  Their journey (escape?) is one of discovery and grudging acceptance of each other’s habits and personalities.  Colleen Oakley ultimately pulls off a clever twist that becomes a poignant scene.  This book could be a great book club title worthy of many discussion points.
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I loved the author's previous book, The Invisible Husband - I had high hopes for this one. Oakley does not disappoint. The sense of community, support and acceptance is just so refreshing. And so lovely.
A modern and improved Harold and Maude. 
Tanner's entire life shifted in one night. Louise needs to get her kids off her back - Tanner needs purpose. Together, these two women find hope and finally the inspiration to move on.
I loved the humor, the tenuous connection formed. A lovely 84 woman people overlook - yet has lived many lives.
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3.75 stars

An offbeat buddy tale with two unusual  main characters  --  unmotivated Tanner, who lost her college soccer scholarship due to injury, and 80 something Louise whose children burden her with a caregiver after a hip injury. They get off to a rocky start and it is soon apparent that Louise has secrets. There are professional grade locks all over her house, and she doesn’t seem to exist on paper or online. She also has a gun and a lot of cash lying around so Tanner shouldn't  be so shocked when Louise wants to suddenly and secretly leave town with Tanner as her driver.

The story of their cross country journey is entertaining, darkly comic and sometimes poignantly honest. The ending is awfully tidy, but not without its surprises. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Calling all fans of intergenerational stories! 

Tanner, a 21-year-old college soccer player, injured herself leaving a party. She lost her full scholarship to Northwestern, and she doesn’t have the money to continue. Tanner needs a job, somewhere to sleep, and a place to wallow in self-pity. 

Louise, a spunky octogenarian, is certain she is capable of taking care of herself and does NOT need a caregiver. But her children insist. 

When Tanner moves in with Louise, the new roommates set boundaries and agree to ignore each other. But Tanner can’t look past her housemate’s odd behavior. What is this elderly woman hiding? 

The two women set off on a wild and twisty road trip, and readers will enjoy coming along on the fun adventure. 

Thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for an ARC of this book.
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I loved this multi-generational redemption story that had a little bit of everything - women forming a sisterhood to help each other year after year in addition to the road trip of an octogenarian and her college aged caregiver. Both Louise and Tanner face physical challenges from recent falls, and are forced to live together, much to their collective dismay. Despite their differences, they become a road tripping team - Louise's past is revealed as they travel to see her friend George. Louise's past is fraught with danger, and she is eager to save her friend George from what they left in the past. Tanner's lack of confidence is seen by Louise, and Louise coaxes Tanner into taking more risks as they hurry cross country toward George. I don't want to spoil another way that she boosts Tanner's confidence but wait for it. The book ends in redemption and recovery for everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed how the novel ended. This is truly an engaging title that promotes the empowerment of women of all ages - I thoroughly recommend. This book will be in our collection.
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Such a fun road trip read. I love love loved Louise. It was fun reading from the POV of an elderly person with so much spunk and a riveting back story. Tanner grew on me but I found her annoying most of the time. 

This was a four star read. The road trip part was really fun because I got to know the characters with such intimacy that I felt like I was right there in the car with them.
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This book is so fun and will have you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Colleen captures the essence of the characters so well - even the side characters. Every time I thought I had things figured out another twist would come. 

It is great to see Tanner grow as a character throughout the book. And to learn more about Louise’s past and how her strength has guided her through many struggles
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Tanner is just getting ready for her fourth year of college when an injury leaves her unable to run and sho loses her soccer scholarship. She ends up hired as a live-in aid to 83-year-old Louise who needs assistance following an accident resulting in a broken hip.  At least, her three adult children think she needs assistance.  Louise thinks no such thing.  Tanner is angry at the world and Louise is angry at Tanner and most everyone else.  Circumstances place this unlikely duo on a road trip, reminiscent of Thelma and Louise.  Prepare for the ride of your life in this totally entertaining book.
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Tanner is in her early 20s. She has recently moved back home after an accident that caused her to lose her soccer scholarship. Louise is in her 80s. Her daughter has decided she needs a caregiver after she broke her hip. When Louise finds out that a long lost friend from her past is in danger, she takes off in the middle of the night and brings Tanner along with her.

While I enjoyed a lot of this book, it felt very long to me and a little bit slow. I think I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more if like 50-60 pages had been edited out. I think there were definitely parts of the journey that could’ve been taken out without making any change to the major points of the story.

I definitely preferred Louise to Tanner. I don’t know if I would’ve liked her a little more if I had been reading this book when I was in my 20s, but she came off a little whiney and immature to me. I didn’t care much for the chapters that were from her point of view and wanted to shake her a little bit and tell her to get over herself.

I did enjoy that the chapters not only alternated with Louise and Tanner’s points of view, but with text exchanges between Louise’s kids, Tanner’s mom, and even the police. I liked the mystery of the story more than I liked the journey and there was a small twist I didn’t expect.

This wasn’t my favorite of Oakley’s novels. The story felt a little cliché and the characters a little boring. I think if it had been shorter I would’ve been much more entertained. I also think that novels with main characters where the focus of the relationship is geriatric and young adult it’s not for me. I think Oakley has some much better books than this one, and while I didn’t dislike it, I was a little disappointed.
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