Well, I have wiped the tears from my eyes in order to tell you that Across Five Aprils is a book that everyone should read. I had read it when I was thirteen or fourteen, and while I loved it very much then, I lacked the maturity and understanding that only time could bring. The added years and my greater knowledge of the Civil War have given me a much greater comprehension of the true events that this novel is based upon. Also, having married a man from southern Illinois, I have traversed the area in which this book takes place, and that, of course, gave me a fuller picture as the story unfolded. I love this book, and I just know you will love it, too.
In these pages, you will see how the Civil War affects a nine year old boy. You will see in your mind’s eye the horror and hatred that brought about the war between the states. You will see Abraham Lincoln in a way that no biography can show him to you. You will feel the stillness of the hours as they slowly pass for a family on an Illinois farm. You may feel fear or anger, and you might, as I did, scratch your head in amazement at how our country could be willing to pay such a high price for a disagreement. Surely God was orchestrating these events for His own purpose, one that none of us may ever understand until we reach Heaven’s shore.
We read this book aloud for our history class, and it’s an excellent choice. The southern Illinois dialect did sometimes trip me up, but after a while, it flowed more easily.
I hope you will take the time to meet sweet Ellen, her strong husband, Matt, and their children. I hope you will walk the corn furrows with Jethro Creighton as he grows into a man across five unforgettable Aprils.