It had seemed that Abigail Sinkey’s life would turn out just the way she wanted it in early June, 1860. She 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. But all of 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.
“Jodie Toohey’s Taming the Twisted brings the devastation of Iowa’s Great Tornado of 1860 back to life as she wonderfully describes the overwhelming challenges the main character, Abigail Stickey, must face after the tornado destroys her town. I found Toohey’s story of love, mystery, betrayal, and misgivings to be a very compelling and quite interesting read. I do recommend this story for those who enjoy historical fiction. … the story held my interest, and was an enjoyable and easy read.” – Reader Views (Read the entire review here.)