Review: The Mercy of the Sky by Holly Bailey

The Mercy of the Sky: The Story of a Tornado - Holly Bailey

Holly Bailey is a journalist specializing in politics, but when dangerous tornadoes (record breaking dangerous) hit her hometown of Moore, Oklahoma, she went back home to report what happened and the aftermath. Those initial reports became the basis for this book.


Ms. Bailey goes beyond the event to the people and history of the area. Many people profiled were natives to Moore and were familiar with tornadoes and the need precautions. However, the tornadoes that ripped through on May 20 and May 31, 2013 were not the usual. These tornadoes harken back to the tornado that went through the same area on May 3, 1999, which was often used as a comparison for the people of Moore to determine how severe a storm is.


There are two chapters that deal with the local television weathermen, which may not seem like a good editorial decision, but once the book gets into the nitty-gritty details of the tornado, those early chapters help make sense and add to the tension to the story. I cried at the end when the author wrote about the children who died at the elementary school and the PTSD many are suffering from. No longer are spring storms exciting; they bring mostly fear and flashbacks to the day. I will say there is a lot of Southern Christianity displayed by the people profiled, but it seemed that when going through something like this, a reliance on one's faith is naturally going to be a part of the story.


An amazing look at a weather phenomenon that is still so much a mystery to weather scientists and public officials alike. 5 stars.