The Awakening Land trilogy traces the transformation of Ohio from wilderness to farmland to the site of modern industrial civilization, all in the lifetime of one character. The trilogy earned Richter immediate acclaim as a historical novelist. It includes The Trees (1940), The Fields (1946), and The Town (1950) and follows the Luckett family's migration from Pennsylvania to Southeastern Ohio. It starts when settler Sayward Luckett Wheeler becomes mother to her orphaned siblings on the frontier, and ends with the story of her youngest son Chancey, a journalist in the years before the Civil War. The Town won the 1951 Pulitzer Prize and received excellent reviews across the country.