Critical Review Killer Angels Essay, Research Paper
“April Morning, Howard Fast”
By: Chris Sharpless
April Morning was an interesting book concerning a young man, Adam Cooper, and the trials and tribulations of his part in the Battle of Lexington. The story takes place mostly in Adam’s hometown of Lexington, Massachusetts, but also partially on the surrounding roads and countryside. The novel opens with a glimpse into the daily life of the Cooper family. As Adam comments on the harsh perfectionist opprobrium of his father, I find myself drawn to his side of the issue. Adam confuses his father’s constant animadversion with the feeling that his father hates him. These feelings of hate are somewhat annulled by Granny, Adam’s grandmother and confidant. She tells him that, since she has known Moses Cooper longer than anyone, she knows that he really loves Adam. This is further exerted when Adam overhears a conversation between his parents. All this was happening with the rumblings of war nearby. The British taxes and tariffs were intensifying and by then most New England towns had their own local governments called Committees. Local community leaders who also organized a town militia supported these Committees. When word reached Lexington that a British army landed, the local militia was mustered and a battle was inevitable.
This is quite a powerful and emotional beginning to a book. Fast does a superb job of keeping the readers attention with his personal attention to detail and to feelings. He knows how to enact emotion in a reader with his wonderful use of descriptions and character commentary; Combined to produce a feeling that you are actually there in the thick of it.
As I found myself reading this book I could not help but think about what I would have done if I was the same age as Adam and in his shoes. The author presents this book in a way that makes the reader think about this boy Adam and how he is turned into a man if not forced to become a man in the heat of battle. And as I began to think about being a young boy in battle I soon found myself thinking about my father and what he must of went through when he volunteered for Vietnam directly after High School. Howard Fast presents the issues of transition of boy-to-man in such an effective way that I put the book down and personally became involved in thought. Something that I have never done after reading a novel.
I highly recommend that anyone of the “pre manhood” age read this novel when they are at a point in which they feel like life is being unfair, because they have too much homework do. I can guarantee that the reading is not to hard for even the high school reading level and with the easy to follow format that Fast presents, it is no wonder that this book was an instant hit.