Across Five Aprils Topic Tracking: Family Love
Family Love 1: Ellen favors her youngest son, Jethro, whom she thinks shows "special talents."
Family Love 2: Shad is like a part of the Creighton family. He shares a particularly close relationship with Jethro who looks up to him as a role model.
Family Love 3: Nancy is not very openly affectionate with any of the other family members. John explains that it is because she was raised by people who treated her badly, and that withdrawing is her way of protecting herself from getting hurt.
Family Love 4: In the family, Bill and John are especially close, and Ellen it proud of the fact that people in her family are close to one another.
Family Love 5: Wilse comes to visit the Creightons from Kentucky. During dinner, Wilse stirs some angry debate about the war, and Ellen stops the conversation to prevent the family from becoming upset with one another.
Family Love 6: Bill and John who are very close get into an argument and eventually, end up physically fighting one another. Bad feelings had been building up between them.
Family Love 7: The family worries about Tom and Eb who are fighting for Grant's army. Some of the battle details are particularly disturbing that the family does not read them to Ellen.
Family Love 8: After the boys have gone to fight, Jethro and Jenny are left at home to do the chores and the farm work. They go out to the fields together and work, keeping each other company. Over the years, Jethro and Jenny become closer, almost forgetting the age difference between them.
Family Love 9: Jethro is angry when Jenny does not show the family her letter from Shad, but eventually reaches out to her to make up.
Family Love 10: John writes to the family that he met Bill who was held as prisoner at the camp of the Union army. Bill had asked John to tell the rest of the family that he hadn't been at Pittsburgh Landing-that he hadn't been the one who had killed Tom.
Family Love 11: Shad and Jenny come back home from Washington DC, and Shad tells Jethro that they will take him to the East where he will be able to receive an education.