The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise

Berkley. Mar. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593200803. $27. F
Tanner Quimby is at loose ends since she lost her soccer scholarship (and all her friends) at Northwestern because of an accident that damaged her leg. She spends the days in pajamas and playing video games on the couch in her parents’ basement. When she blows up once too often at her mother, she’s pushed out of the nest and into the home of Louise Wilt, a woman in her 80s who’s recovering from hip surgery. Her adult children don’t think she should be on her own, so they arrange for Tanner (a family friend) to move in. Thus a new odd couple is formed. But, as Tanner quickly realizes, there’s more to Louise than she initially thought. When a letter from her past sends Louise on a cross-country trek, Tanner serves as her driver. Soon the FBI (and possibly some gangsters) are on their trail.
VERDICT Tanner and Louise’s growing bond is funny and heartwarming and gives heart to Oakley’s (The Invisible Husband of Frick Island) latest, but the sharp, witty dialogue and plotting keep the story from becoming too saccharine. A great read-alike for fans of the television show Hacks.
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