The Mercy of the Sky is the harrowing inside account of Oklahoma's deadliest tornado, penned by a local writer who became a national correspondent.
Oklahomans have long been known for their fatalism and grit, but even old-timers are troubled by the twisters that are devastating the state with increasing frequency. On May 20, 2013, the worst tornado on record landed a direct hit on the small town of Moore, destroying two schools while the children cowered inside.
Oklahoma native Holly Bailey grew up dreaming of becoming a storm chaser. Instead she became Newsweek's youngest-ever White House correspondent, traveling to war zones with Presidents Bush and Obama. When Moore was hit, Bailey went back both as a journalist and a hometown girl and spoke with the teachers who put their lives at risk to save their students, the weathermen more revered than rock stars and more tormented than they let on, and many shell-shocked residents. In The Mercy of the Sky, Bailey does for the Oklahoma flatlands what Sebastian Junger did for Gloucester, Massachusetts, in The Perfect Storm, telling a dramatic, pause-register story about a town that must survive the elements - or die.
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This book can't get out of its own way.
Neither was particularly enthralling.
A generally fascinating subject but incapably handled by the author who spends chapter after chapter mired in irrelevant nuance that has little or no bearing on the actual disaster. She spends the first SEVEN chapters discussing only the career progressions of every major Oklahoma meteorologist from 1930-2000, and even that could have been at least mildly interesting, but instead its a dull uncreative recital of worn out cliches. And also, why must Tornados always 'churn'?!