This is the Follett Prize book. It is, as the publisher claims, a book for all age levels, although older readers will be better able to appreciate its many nuances. It begins in April, 1861 on the Creighton farm in southern Illinois; it ends on the same farm in April, 1865, thus the title. April is the month of beginnings and endings, when the cold winds reluctantly give way to the soft breezes that signal rebirth. In 1861, young Jethro Creighton is warmed by the romantic idea of war; of banners flying, bands playing, men marching. By April 1865, he has lost his brother Tom, witnessed the burning of his father's barn because his brother Bill joined the Confederates and seen his father become an old man. He has himself gone from boyhood to manhood in these pages. The joy of peace is lost in the tragedy of Lincoln's assassination, yet life must go on, and Jethro faces his life with the maturity of one who has been tested. A beautifully written, spare prose makes all this come vividly, sometimes painfully, alive. Despite the large number of Civil War books, there is always room left for one like this.