In 1837, the Pattersons of Reed’s Crossing are eager to head north to Indiana where they can claim new land and begin farming. Brady Patterson’s wife, Anna Marie, along with their children and their friends, Pricilla and Jeremiah, make the difficult journey by covered wagons. They endure challenging weather conditions, mosquitos, and varmints as they travel northward, but they successfully reach their new home.
The children, Pat and Tim, grow into teenagers, while other children are added to the family dynamics. One day, a runaway slave family is discovered hiding on the family farm. The Patterson’s acceptance of the family causes ripples throughout the community, and that acceptance brings about violence.
Tim loves racing his horse and teasing Pricilla’s daughter. His daring ways often bring him harm. Pat turns eighteen years old and meets a girl who captures his heart. They fall in love, but as time passes, her father is unwilling to let them continue seeing each other. Pat sees no other resolve than to leave home and strike out on his own.
A sequel to Sunset in Kentucky, Daybreak in Indiana tells the story of how a community becomes a town full of good people who help their friends and comfort those who mourn.