Representing Kansas is James McBride's The Good Lord Bird. Set in the Kansas Territory in 1857, McBride's novel explores the struggle between pro and anti-slavery forces. Henry Shackleford is born a slave, but when John Brown, an abolitionist, arrives in Kansas Territory, Henry's master turns violent, and he is forced to leave town with Brown, disguised as a girl in an attempt to survive. Henry embarks on Brown's anti-slavery crusade, and the two find themselves at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry, an impetus for the Civil War.
Philip Gulley's A Place Called Hope is representing Indiana. Gulley returns to the familiar town of Harmony, Indiana, as Quaker pastor, Sam Gardner, manages to outrage members of his
congregation after filling in for the local Unitarian minister who is ill. A discouraged Gardner begins to question his future in Harmony, but a timely call from a congregation in Hope, Indiana, who are in dire need of a pastor, causes Gardner to consider a more permanent change.