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.
The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise (that we’ll call TMTSOTAL because that title is a mouthful to write) is a roadtrip book with two mismatched characters: a 21 years old college dropout an 84 year old woman. It’s full of heart, joy and surprises.
Tanner 21 and Louis 84 are thrown together because of Louise’s fall that has her unable to drive and because Tanner has nowhere else to live after one too many disputes with her mom. Tanner has now become the prime caretaker, oh sorry, driver 😉 of Louise.
Outwardly these two women are antithesis. Tanner is a rule follower to a fault and Louise is rather a devil may care. And at the beginning of the story, these women may share a house but they sure do their best to avoid each other.
That works fine until as the synopsis says:” 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?”
From that moment on will begin their mad run and that journey won’t be only across states but also a self-growth journey.
I didn’t have a smooth start with that audiobook. Tanner looked like a brat, perpetually angry as she was grieving her former life, doing nothing but gaming and Louise seemed more like a Taty Daniel than anything else to me.
But when the roadtrip began, I had a lot of fun listening!
Not only were the quips between Tanner and dry humored Louise a delight to read but the text messages between Louise’s children was also a real hoot. Each sibling showing concern (or lack of) in varying degree.
There is also many things to unpack from TMTSOTAL.
-How when women grow old, they become invisible. More so, how when people age they stop being people who have lived rich lives and have things to tell.
-What does it mean to be a woman in this world. Present and past time included.
-How to grieve the loss of a former life but stay open for new possibilities.
This was also heartwarming to read about what will be an intergenerational friendship. How Tanner became to care for Louise, barging at full speed when she thought Louise’s life was threatened. And how Louise had a lot of consideration and tenderness for what Tanner went through.
And let’s not forget the unexpected twists and surprises this adventure takes the reader on.
It’s my first book by that author but won’t be my last.
I always loved listening to my great grandmother when she talked about her life as she had lived through two wars and that book made me realize once more how important and fulfilling it is to listen to old people. You might be surprised by what they’ll tell you! 😉
Also if you love audiobooks, I think the narrator Hillary Hubert did a very good job portraying these two women.
Thanks for reading!