Genre: Historical Fiction
ABOUT THE BOOK
Taming the Twisted is written in a similar style to Laura Ingalls Wilders’ Little House books though updated for modern times. It might read as if she’d left in all of the juicy tidbits about things people didn’t talk about during the time when she was writing. Taming the Twisted is a story of destruction, romance, mystery, and deceit set against a back drop of an actual historical event.
In early June, 1860, Abigail enjoyed a peaceful home life with her parents, younger sister, and twin toddler brothers. Their home in Camanche, Iowa, where they’d emigrated from Pennsylvania, was almost complete and her beau, Joseph Sund, had recently proposed marriage.
That changes the evening of June 3rd when a tornado rips through town, killing her parents. At the mass funeral for the over two dozen people who perished in the storm, she learns Marty Cranson, with whom Abigail witnessed Joseph having a heated argument, died, but at the hands of a person rather than the tornado.
In addition to being faced with raising her young siblings, Joseph has disappeared without a trace and a stranger, Marshall Stevenson, appears, offering to help Abigail repair the families’ home and cultivate the newly planted farm crops.
Abigail, while developing romantic feelings for Marshall, tolerating the scorn of town woman Pamela Mackenrow, and working as a seamstress and storekeeper to support her siblings, becomes obsessed with finding out who killed Marty, hoping that and not that he no longer loved her, was the reason Joseph left without saying goodbye.
When I read “written in a similar style to Laura Ingalls Wilders’ Little House books”, I knew that TAMING THE TWISTED by Jodie Toohey was a book I wanted to read. Unfortunately, I didn’t think it was at all like the beloved Little House books aside from both families being on a prairie. That’s not to say I didn’t like it. I wanted to like it more than I did, but it was good. The writing was good, the characters were good, the pacing was (mostly) good. I did have a few issues with how the story jumped around a bit at the beginning.
While I had sympathy for the hardships that the main characters had to endure, I just didn’t find myself fully engaged with them. Their dialogue was simple and character development seemed weak. I would have loved to see more about the people and less about each step that went into the the biscuits she was making. I did enjoy the mystery aspect of the story – and it was a quick read. I would read another book by the author, however. I think there is great potential there.
With a mystery that kept me guessing up until the end, but a story and characters that were under developed, I give TAMING THE TWISTED 2 stars **.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jodie Toohey is the author of four additional books, two poetry collections – Crush and Other Love Poems for Girls (2008) and Other Side of Crazy (918studio, 2013) – as well as two novels, Missing Emily: Croatian Life Letters (2012) and Melody Madson – May It Please the Court? (2014).
When Jodie is not writing poetry or fiction, she is helping authors, soon-to-be-authors, and want-to-be authors from pre-idea to reader through her company, Wordsy Woman Author Services.
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
Tuesday, February 9
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, February 10
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, February 11
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation
Monday, February 15
Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne
Tuesday, February 16
Review at Book Drunkard
Wednesday, February 17
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Thursday, February 18
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Friday, February 19
Interview at Author Dianne Ascroft’s Blog