So, upon many recommendations, we read this book recently. Across Five Aprils is a sad book to read to your children. It was not twaddle for sure, and it got our family talking about the Civil war, but because you become so acquainted with how a family is affected by the war, it is so very depressing and sad.
I don’t mind a sad book. I like that melancholy feeling you get when you read certain books. But if the book is going to be so sober, it must have a higher meaning or purpose in it. The only meaning I got out of this book is that war is horrible and senseless. It seems to me that God was mostly absent from this story, but there was plenty of sin, fear and hatred. There was also kindness, love, and mercy shown through the characters and also through President Lincoln. If I had the inclination to become a Mennonite or Quaker pacifist this book might just make me want to join these denominations.
Irene Hunt wrote this book based upon stories told by her grandfather, family letters, and historical research. This novel taught us about the various battles and revealed the vastness of the Civil War, while also also showing its intimate impact on the lives of the Creighton family. I’m glad we read this as a family so we could discuss it together but I believe it would be a very sad book for a child to read on his own. I realize that there are many homeschool families who loved this book and I’m no expert for sure….but this book was not one of my favorites and I would not read it again. Just my 2 cents. ~Anne