Free Study Guide for Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt-Book Summary|
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES
Suddenly April loses its beautiful spring color with the news that Lincoln has been assassinated. For Jethro, it is the “saddest and most cruel April of the five.” He agonizes over the loss of the President until Shad comes home. Jethro is filled with joy and shares with his former teacher, now his brother-in-law, how much he would like to have been able to see Lincoln in person. Shad is sympathetic. He tells Jethro that he and Jenny will stay to help with the farm until John and Eb return. Then they will have Jethro move in with them to continue his studies. The two men head back toward the house to see Jenny. Jethro runs to his sister’s arms and “all the shadows were lifted from the April morning.”
The long awaited climax of the war is also the climax of the story. The North achieves victory at Gettysburg and then with Sherman’s momentum is able to sustain its position and preserve the Union. This last chapter however has an undercurrent sadness. Milton’s words that peace will not be perfect foreshadow the postwar bittersweetness of sons mourned and sons returning. The assassination of Lincoln, in whom so many people in Jasper County placed their hope, changes the April of celebration into the April of shattered faith. The melancholy is at last lifted in the final paragraph where Jethro, unforgettably changed by the war, can move on with his life.
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Cassie, Donna L.. "TheBestNotes on Across Five Aprils".
. 09 May 2017