Enter the eye of the storm in this gripping real-life thriller—A Perfect Storm on land—that chronicles America’s biggest tornado outbreak since the beginning of recorded weather: a horrific three-day superstorm with 358 separate tornadoes touching down in twenty-one states and destroying entire towns.
April 27, 2011 was the climax of a three-day superstorm that unleashed terror from Arkansas to New York. Entire communities were flattened, whole neighborhoods erased. Tornadoes left scars across the land so wide they could be seen from space. But from terrible destruction emerged everyday heroes—neighbors and strangers who rescued each other from hell on earth.
“Armchair storm chasers will find much to savor in this grippingly detailed, real-time chronicle of nature gone awry” (Kirkus Reviews) set in Alabama, the heart of Dixie Alley where there are more tornado fatalities than anywhere else in the US. With powerful emotion and captivating detail, journalist Kim Cross expertly weaves together science and heartrending human stories. For some, it’s a story of survival; for others it’s the story of their last hours.
Cross’s immersive reporting and dramatic storytelling catapult you to the center of the very worst hit areas, where thousands of ordinary people witnessed the sky falling around them. Yet from the disaster rises a redemptive message that’s just as real: in times of trouble, the things that tear our world apart reveal what holds us together.
Expanding on an article first published in Southern Living magazine, Alabama-based journalist Cross's gripping chronicle of the events of April 27, 2011 the deadliest day of the largest tornado outbreak in history is divided into three parts: "The Storm," "The Aftermath" and "The Recovery." The first section introduces readers to various people on the scene when the storm hit, including veteran TV meteorologist James Spann, storm chasers Brian Peters and Tim Coleman, and the civilians both survivors and soon-to-be victims caught in nature's path of destruction. All told, 252 Alabama residents lost their lives in one of the 62 tornadoes that terrorized the state that day. The gruesome second section re-creates the panic and despair that set in when the wind died and the dust settled, revealing wiped-out communities and mangled corpses while inspiring random acts of kindness among strangers. Victims and their families struggle to seek closure and peace in the third and final section. Cross conducted more than 100 hours of interviews, and her detail-oriented reporting anchors a novelist's flair for drama. Horrifying depictions of the monster storms and gut-wrenching scenes of loss make other accounts of Tuscaloosa's tragic tornados (including Lars Anderson's The Storm and The Tide) tame by comparison.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Wow, totally dumbstruck at what I just finished reading!
It's 3:00am and I just finished this book. I have never in my 29 years read something that had me on the edge of my seat in worry my heart racing and crying my eyes out having a hard time getting through each page. As awful as it was to read each heartbreaking loss, now being able to read and remember these lives will help them live on! Thank you for capturing so perfectly the resounding sadness and let loss to the heartwarming outpouring of help.