81 pages • 2 hours readHoward Fast
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Adam Cooper is the 15-year-old protagonist of April Morning, and the reader sees everything through his first-person narration. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, on the family farm, and he is argumentative with his mother and Granny, disliking in particular the tenets of Christianity. Although he is strong willed, he is cowed by his father Moses, whom he perceives to be harsh and condemning of Adam. Yet Adam has a strong affection for his family. Adam has never hit his younger brother Levi, not even when provoked, and he feels a strong bond with Granny, who is willing to argue with Adam about life and beliefs in a more congenial fashion.
Adam’s abrupt transition from boyhood to adulthood is the central theme of the novel, and his character arc begins in earnest when his father is killed at the Battle of Lexington. As an adolescent he struggles to fully understand people and situations, and so there is an element of the unreliable narrator convention in the novel, but Adam is always earnest in his endeavor to comprehend situations for what they are, and his voice is generally a trustworthy one.
By Howard Fast