Colleen Oakley (The Invisible Husband of Frick Island; You Were There Too) takes readers on an offbeat, whirlwind road-trip adventure--with an underlying serious message--in The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise. Louise Constance Wilt is an unpredictable, whip-smart native of Atlanta, Ga. The 84-year-old widow hobbles around on a bum hip, so her children, who live hours away, decide it's time for their mother to have some live-in help. Enter floundering, 21-year-old Tanner Quimby, whose promising college sports scholarship--and dreams of playing soccer professionally--are sidelined by a very badly broken leg. The arrangement would appear a win-win for the two injured women. However, after some initial mutual resistance--and Tanner attuned to some dubious red flags in Louise's behavior--the duo set off on an impulsive road trip. When Louise's daughter files a missing persons report, the family discovers that Louise has actually been living under an alias for years--on an FBI watchlist involving a notorious jewel heist in Boston in the 1970s. Could this be true? And does this have anything to do with Louise and Tanner suddenly going on the lam?
Well-structured elements of mystery and suspense infuse this enjoyable friendship story about lives--however burdened by challenges and questionable choices--well-lived. A lively plot, oddball characters and surprising twists bring levity to darker themes that probe issues of feminism and aging. Oakley's storytelling is first-rate. Readers will eagerly hop aboard this wildly fun, greatly entertaining ride. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines