Honor Bright is a modest English Quaker with a broken heart. Emigrating to Ohio with her sister in the hope of making a new life, she soon discovers that 19th-century America hard, precarious place to live. Its people are practical and unsentimental, its climate challenging. Even its quilts are different from those she makes. Moreover, it is divided by slavery, legal in southern states and opposed by many northerners.
One day a runaway slave appears in the farmyard of Honor’s new family, and she must decide what to do. Even Quakers - famed for championing human equality - may hesitate to break the laws of the land. Drawn into the clandestine activities of the Underground Railroad, a network of people helping runaways escape to freedom, Honor befriends two surprising women who demonstrate what defiance can achieve. Eventually she must decide if she too can act on what she believes in, whatever the personal costs.