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Across Five Aprils

Key Facts

Main ideas Key Facts

full title ·  Across Five Aprils

author ·  Irene Hunt

type of work ·  Novel

genre ·  Young adult, fiction, historical fiction

language ·  English

time and place written ·  1963; while teaching at a grammar school in Cicero, Illinois

date of first publication ·  1964

publisher ·  Follet Publishing Company

narrator ·  Anonymous, centering around the experiences of Jethro Creighton

point of view ·  Third-person limited, reflecting the experiences of Jethro Creighton

tone ·  Grave; melancholy; determined

tense ·  Past

setting (time) ·  The novel takes place during the American Civil War.

setting (place) ·  Southern Illinois, on a farm

protagonist ·  Jethro Creighton

major conflict ·  The American Civil War and the way it affects the country and a specific family

rising action ·  Two brothers, one cousin, and one family friend join the war. The Creightons all suffer anxiety over whether they are alive or not.

climax · The climax of the war is the climax of the book as well, around the point of the Battle of Gettysburg when the North picks up momentum and enjoys a victory.

falling action ·  The war ends. Southern deserters are permitted to reenter the Union with amnesty

themes ·  The capriciousness of public opinion; the power of the presidency; the importance of redemption and forgiveness

motifs ·  Cycles; both sides of the story; growing old before one's time; "not a perfect pearl"

symbols · The barn; the Bible ledger; drinking coffee

foreshadowing ·  Milton's comment about peace not being a "perfect pearl," Hunt's description of the deserters, the men in the store being angry about Bill's involvement with the South.