Study Guide

Across Five Aprils Writing Style

By Irene Hunt

Writing Style

Old-Timey, Personifying, Jumpy

Across Five Aprils transports readers back to the mid-1800s, and not just by telling a Civil War story—nope, by making us feel like we're right there in the middle of all the action. And one of the ways that Hunt accomplishes this is by using lots of old-fashioned jargon. Not sure what we're talking about? How about trying "comeuppance" (1.33), "sassafras" (9.143), and "hifalutin" (11.12) on for size. Now try working those words into conversation with your friends.

Hunt also spends a lot of time bringing things to life, and she personifies all over the place. We read about a "wooden bridge that had swayed threateningly" (3.42), leaves that "rattled as if in protest" (8.37), and "a clash that roared with a violence" (10.15). She's like the Dr. Frankenstein of personification, constantly bringing inanimate objects to life. It makes for rich description, which helps us step into the world of the book.

Finally, the book is called Across Five Aprils which means that if it's going to span a massive amount of time and not be too intimidating to read (we're looking at you, War and Peace, the story will have to move pretty quickly. So don't be surprised when it suddenly jumps ahead a few weeks. Time moves fast when you're covering five Aprils.