The Indigo Girl
An incredible story of dangerous and hidden friendships, ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.The year is 1739. Eliza Lucas is sixteen years old when her father leaves her in charge of their family's three plantations in rural South Carolina and then proceeds to bleed the estates dry in pursuit of his military ambitions. Tensions with the British, and with the Spanish in Florida, just a short way down the coast, are rising, and slaves are starting to become restless. Her mother wants nothing more than for their South Carolina endeavor to fail so they can go back to England. Soon her family is in danger of losing everything.Upon hearing how much the French pay for indigo dye, Eliza believes it's the key to their salvation. But everyone tells her it's impossible, and no one will share the secret to making it. Thwarted at nearly every turn, even by her own family, Eliza finds that her only allies are an aging horticulturalist, an older and married gentleman lawyer, and a slave with whom she strikes a dangerous deal: teach her the intricate thousand-year-old secret process of making indigo dye and in return -- against the laws of the day -- she will teach the slaves to read.So begins an incredible story of love, dangerous and hidden friendships, ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.Based on historical documents, including Eliza's letters, this is a historical fiction account of how a teenage girl produced indigo dye, which became one of the largest exports out of South Carolina, an export that laid the foundation for the incredible wealth of several Southern families who still live on today. Although largely overlooked by historians, the accomplishments of Eliza Lucas influenced the course of US history. When she passed away in 1793, President George Washington served as a pallbearer at her funeral.This book is set between 1739 and 1744, with romance, intrigue, forbidden friendships, and political and financial threats weaving together to form the story of a remarkable young woman whose actions were before their time: the story of the indigo girl.

The Indigo Girl Details

TitleThe Indigo Girl
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherBlackstone Publishing
ISBN-139781455137114
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, American, Southern

The Indigo Girl Review

  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    4+ starsIf I didn't know that this was based on a true story, a real person in our history, I would have found it to be pretty unrealistic that in the 1730's, a British man would leave his sixteen year old daughter in charge of his plantations when he leaves South Carolina for Antigua to further his military career. There are several things that I really liked about this book. While this is a fictionalized account of the life of Eliza Lucas, it not only appears to be well researched, 4+ starsIf I didn't know that this was based on a true story, a real person in our history, I would have found it to be pretty unrealistic that in the 1730's, a British man would leave his sixteen year old daughter in charge of his plantations when he leaves South Carolina for Antigua to further his military career. There are several things that I really liked about this book. While this is a fictionalized account of the life of Eliza Lucas, it not only appears to be well researched, but excerpts of letters written by Eliza Lucas are interspersed throughout. Eliza Lucas was a determined, smart and tough woman who was in many ways, a woman ahead of her times. How heartening to know that in spite of the societal demands of the times, that there were women who were bold enough to do things considered to be only in the realm of men. She is remembered for bringing to SC the indigo crop that changed its economy.The author in her notes tells which characters are based on real people and which are imagined. I always love to hear what the creative spark was that prompts an author to write a particular story. In this case, Natasha Rosenfeldt Boyd was attending an indigo exhibit in South Carolina and overheard a conversation between the gallery owner and one of Eliza's descendants. "I caught snippets of a story that would light a fire in me. It was a story about a sixteen-year-old girl who ran her father's plantations in her father's name. "This girl," the unknown person said next to me, unaware of my eavesdropping, " made a deal with her slaves : she would teach them to read, and in return they would teach her the secrets of making indigo." And thus the spark for this novel and the story of this young woman whose story is inspiring and relevant even today. I received an advanced copy of this book from Blackstone Publishing through NetGalley.
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  • Beata
    January 1, 1970
    This novel is an example of historical fiction that elegantly blends facts with author’s interpretation of them and imagination. Incredible as it may sound, in 1739, Eliza Lucas, a sixteen-year-old girl is put in charge of the plantations in South Carolina by her father who leaves to pursue his political ambitions. The estate is in dire financial state, but intelligent, observant and with entrepreneurial spirit, Eliza comes up with an idea of producing indigo dye, so much sought after in Europe, This novel is an example of historical fiction that elegantly blends facts with author’s interpretation of them and imagination. Incredible as it may sound, in 1739, Eliza Lucas, a sixteen-year-old girl is put in charge of the plantations in South Carolina by her father who leaves to pursue his political ambitions. The estate is in dire financial state, but intelligent, observant and with entrepreneurial spirit, Eliza comes up with an idea of producing indigo dye, so much sought after in Europe, and being the domain of the French. I was invested in the story and was full of admiration for Eliza and her industrious undertakings. I liked her open mind to new ideas, perseverance and strong personality. After I had finished reading Indigo Girl, I was more than surprised to learn that Eliza Lucas was not a fictional character, and that she is still remembered and celebrated to this day.
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  • Dem
    January 1, 1970
    I Love Reading accounts of strong women from history and The Indigo Girl is a powerful well written historical fiction story based on the life of Eliza Lucas a 16 years old girl who in 1739 takes over the running of her fathers plantations in rural South Carolina after he mortgages them in order to raise funds in pursuit of his military ambitions. Hearing how much French pay for Indigo dye Eliza believes its the key to her families salivation. I happened upon this one by chance while browsing audible a I Love Reading accounts of strong women from history and The Indigo Girl is a powerful well written historical fiction story based on the life of Eliza Lucas a 16 years old girl who in 1739 takes over the running of her fathers plantations in rural South Carolina after he mortgages them in order to raise funds in pursuit of his military ambitions. Hearing how much French pay for Indigo dye Eliza believes its the key to her families salivation. I happened upon this one by chance while browsing audible and had no idea who Eliza was or anything about the Indigo process but was curious when I read that book was based on historical documents and Eliza Lucas’s own letters and what an interesting and educational read this was. This was a horrible time in America’s history but a time that was real and therefore can not be forgotten.I really enjoyed learning about Eliza Lucas and her remarkable accomplishments and while this was historical fiction the author’s note does explain what is fact and where she has embellished the story and why. I loved the descriptions of South Carolina and life of eighteenth century colonial society. The Indigo process was extremely interesting and well documented considering this was a historical fiction story.A story that is well researched and written and the audio version is so good and added to my enjoyment of the novel. . I especially love when historical fiction brings attention to a person or event in history that I am not familiar with or might never have read about and I am so glad I got to read about Eliza Lucas and her accomplishments in the Indigo Industry.Recommended for readers who enjoy historical fiction and novels such as The Kitchen House or Someone Knows My Name.
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  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    Sixteen year old Eliza Lucas has acquired an unexpected vocation. Living in South Carolina in the 18th Century, she must oversee the running of the Lucas family plantations including three tracts of land. Each plantation is run by a manager who oversees slaves as they work to plant and harvest crops in order to turn a profit. Eliza's father, nicknamed Big Lucas, has returned to Antigua, the family's original domicile, in order to advance his military career. Debt has accrued in his military vent Sixteen year old Eliza Lucas has acquired an unexpected vocation. Living in South Carolina in the 18th Century, she must oversee the running of the Lucas family plantations including three tracts of land. Each plantation is run by a manager who oversees slaves as they work to plant and harvest crops in order to turn a profit. Eliza's father, nicknamed Big Lucas, has returned to Antigua, the family's original domicile, in order to advance his military career. Debt has accrued in his military venture and only successful crop production will keep the family afloat in South Carolina..Eliza is no stranger to the running of the family enterprise. She has routinely assisted Big Lucas in recording family transactions. She is not the child of choice for this operation, however, her two brothers are away at school. The plan is for Eliza to keep the business solvent until her elder brother George can assume the reins. Eliza does not believe in convention, she believes in individual freedom. Women should not be chattel to be married off to unburden the family. Eliza will not settle for being a figurehead for the plantation...but...how will she be successful? Two of her plantations are heavily mortgaged to support her father's military aspirations.Eliza is determined to grow indigo. Indigo is a weed that has been grown with limited success in Antigua. Perhaps it can grow in South Carolina soil. She enlists the help of neighbor and botanist Mr. Deveaux and family friend, lawyer Charles Pinckney, as well as trusted slaves Quash, Togo, and Sawney. Indigo is difficult to produce. Success is unlikely. Frost can destroy indigo seeds. Indigo stalks must be cut at the exact hour of their potency and before they flower. She is embarking upon an uphill battle.Eliza Lucas is a teenager ahead of her time. While her mother worries about making a good match for her daughter, Eliza wants a husband who will treat her as an equal. She believes in compassion. Her slaves live in cabins free from draft, a dwelling has been built to serve as a schoolhouse and she has taught Quash and others to read. Her kindness has won her respect. There are those, however, who do not want Eliza to succeed and will thwart her efforts on a continual basis."The Indigo Girl" by Natasha Boyd is a remarkable historical account of a girl's determination to introduce indigo as a staple crop in South Carolina. Kudos to Natasha Boyd for creating Eliza's journey.Thank you Blackstone Publishing and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "The Indigo Girl"
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !! “1739The Negroes were singing.Light danced over the dark, inky ocean, and I blinked my eyes awake.No ocean.Just the faint blue of a breaking day casting over the white walls of my bedchamber.A dream still clung damp to my bones. Always the same since I was a child. Sometimes threatening. Sometimes euphoric. Breathing in deeply, I fancied the day held the weight of destiny.” Thus begins Natasha Boyd’s The Indigo Girl. This is a story of conspi/> !! NOW AVAILABLE !! “1739The Negroes were singing.Light danced over the dark, inky ocean, and I blinked my eyes awake.No ocean.Just the faint blue of a breaking day casting over the white walls of my bedchamber.A dream still clung damp to my bones. Always the same since I was a child. Sometimes threatening. Sometimes euphoric. Breathing in deeply, I fancied the day held the weight of destiny.” Thus begins Natasha Boyd’s The Indigo Girl. This is a story of conspiracy and deception, love and romance, ambition and sacrifice, secret alliances and betrayal, of intimidation and trust. Trust given and trust earned. A story of free men and slaves, of a young women who dared to insist on her right to choose to marry, or not, who dared to assert herself as a woman as competent as the men who tried to intimidate her. A woman who dared to choose her path in life in Colonial-era South Carolina. Eliza Lucas was a woman who dared to be kind to her childhood friend from Antigua; a friend who returns to her life as a slave owned by the man her father has sent to teach her the ways of growing indigo and turning it into dye.This would be a wonderful historical, fictional, story, a story that would inspire many, but what makes this an exceptionally moving and inspirational story is that Eliza Lucas lived and breathed, was a real woman who became known as the woman who changed agriculture in South Carolina. The Indigo Girl.In the South Carolina of old, young sixteen-year-old Eliza Lucas is left in charge of her family’s plantations, her father has left in order to further enhance his position with the military, and has returned to Antigua, leaving Eliza, her mother and her younger sister there. It hasn’t been that long since he brought his wife and daughter to this plot of land seventeen miles outside of Charles Town, six by water originally purchased by her father’s father. Her two brothers are attending school in England, but in a few years, her brother George will be able to take over for her.Eliza has had a formal education in a finishing school in England when she was younger, but she was encouraged from a young age to seek out more knowledge, to read, to follow her inquisitive nature. One of her interests was botany.She has plans, which include a grove of oak trees with an eye to future ships needing the wood, but she is drawn to the indigo plant. She remembers the clothing she saw back in Antigua, and when she sees two women wearing skirts of that same rich blue when in town, she decides to look into growing indigo. A plant notoriously difficult to grow in South Carolina, subject to many failures in growing and many more failures in the process of being turned into dye.Based on an immense amount of research including many historical documents and Eliza Lucas’ own letters—excerpts of some are included in this story—this is the story of a woman who was so highly regarded that, upon her death, George Washington requested to serve as a pallbearer at her funeral. In 1976, a marker commemorating the location where Eliza Lucas planted indigo seeds in 1741 was erected. Pub Date: 03 Oct 2017Many thanks for the ARC provided by Blackstone Publishing
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    *****5 fantastic reading stars******I received this ARC from Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*Eliza Lucas is just sixteen years old when her father leaves her in charge of their plantations in rural South Carolina. The year was 1730 when there were both Indian and slave uprisings. Her father returns to Antigua and has great military ambitions also wishing to become the governor of Antigua. He mortgages these plantations, unbeknownst to *****5 fantastic reading stars******I received this ARC from Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*Eliza Lucas is just sixteen years old when her father leaves her in charge of their plantations in rural South Carolina. The year was 1730 when there were both Indian and slave uprisings. Her father returns to Antigua and has great military ambitions also wishing to become the governor of Antigua. He mortgages these plantations, unbeknownst to Eliza, because he is in need of money. Eliza, a strong willed brilliant daughter, resolves to make the plantation she and her family reside on, a success. The way she decides to do so is in the production of indigo. Her mother wishes for her to fail so that the family can return to England so she offers little to no support and actually thwarts Eliza's efforts.Eliza, a botanist at heart, is helped by a neighbor botanist, a gentlemen lawyer, and her slaves who knew the secret of indigo extraction. They strive to make a go of it. Eliza is the epitome of courage and determination. She will get what she wants and entices the slaves to share their indigo secrets by promising to teach them how to read, something that was against the law. She forms hidden attachments to her slaves, spurns those who are against her, and sacrifices everything to make this dream of hers come true. Along the way Eliza is met with many adversities but through the support of a man who she will eventually marry and her slaves who she treats with fairness and concern, she succeeds. Her indomitable spirit at such a young age makes her a woman of that fosters admiration, strength, and resilience.This novel is based on letters from Eliza and other historical documents. Through Eliza, her eventual husband, and the slaves, she is able to lay the foundation for the indigo industry that will eventually become one of the largest exports from South Carolina. It was quite an incredible book to read and enjoy as this little known figure in history came alive in this novel. Incredibly interesting is that no one really has heard of her exploits as she played a major role in the route that US history eventually took. Mentioned in the author's notes was that President George Washington was a pall bearer at her funeral. Eliza was a independent woman hundreds of years before that came into vogue. Her achievements, given that it was 1730's and was a woman need to be both admired and made know so that all women know that no matter what constraints that are placed upon them, having the will and the determination to succeed they will eventually do just that.
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  • Irene Sim
    January 1, 1970
    IT'S LIVE TODAY!!!! Arc provided by Blackstone Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewI can't believe I was granted an arc for Natasha Boyd's new novel. She is one of my favorite authors! (Happy dancing)For Readathon-2017: 36/52In the category: "A book in which the protagonist is a historical person"REVIEW OF 07/08/20174,5 stars!I thoroughly enjoyed this story! Natasha Boyd’s magical pen has worked miracles again and in a brand new gender for her. She managed to merge historical facts and people into a fascinating tale that kept me tperson"REVIEW IT'S LIVE TODAY!!!! Arc provided by Blackstone Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewI can't believe I was granted an arc for Natasha Boyd's new novel. She is one of my favorite authors! (Happy dancing)For Readathon-2017: 36/52In the category: "A book in which the protagonist is a historical person"REVIEW OF 07/08/20174,5 stars!I thoroughly enjoyed this story! Natasha Boyd’s magical pen has worked miracles again and in a brand new gender for her. She managed to merge historical facts and people into a fascinating tale that kept me transfixed till the last page.Eliza Lucas is a woman ahead of her time. And I say woman because even if she’s only 16 years old she is mature in mind and spirit beyond her age. A twist of fate has Eliza, instead of marrying off to some featherheaded nobleman to appease her mother, stepping in her father’s position as head manager of his estates in South Carolina, at least until her younger brother becomes of age to assume responsibility. Eliza is no stranger to the estate’s affairs, her father’s been training her for many years and she’s been acting as his aid keeping his correspondence and accounting books. It’s unfathomable the burden that is laid upon her young shoulders. Not only she has to make profitable decisions about crops, sales etc, she also has to discourse with managers, bankers, sales-persons and manage the slaves, all in her father’s name because she is a woman and her gender induces no respect. Her courage is inspiring, her determination admirable. With her kind heart, fairness and ambition she manages to overcome all obstacles and win over respect from her slaves to her most strict competitors.There were times in the story that I totally hated her mother. Not only she is incapable to provide the smallest amount of help in managing the household, she keeps sabotaging Eliza’s attempts. But then, she’s the typical woman of her age and can’t help herself from being small-minded and socially confined.I have to cut half a star from my rating because I was annoyed by the evolution in the relationship between Eliza and Ben. (view spoiler)[I can justify their friendship, but I think her romantic fantasies about Ben and her stalker-ish - jealous behavior was a little farfetched for the time and place. I also didn’t like that he had to die for her to be able to move on. (hide spoiler)] I have to say that the whole romance aspect of the book was unsatisfying for my tastes but the rest of the story is so powerful that I find this lack insignificant.The reading experience is enhanced by the interval addition of original letters from the real Eliza Lucas sent to her father in Antigua and her nanny in England that shows her hopes, aspirations and frustrations and are in total harmony with the person’s character presented by Natasha Boyd.An excellent attempt at historical fiction! I would recommend it to EVERYONE who loves the gender.
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  • Diane Barnes
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because of the research. I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would midway through. It is a fictionalized account of the early efforts of Eliza Lucas to grow the first Indigo crop in SC, after being left in charge of her father's three plantations here when he returns to Antigua. She disdains marriage, and works hard to succeed at making the plantations successful. After a lot of trial and error and much help from slaves and neighbors, she does finally prod 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because of the research. I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would midway through. It is a fictionalized account of the early efforts of Eliza Lucas to grow the first Indigo crop in SC, after being left in charge of her father's three plantations here when he returns to Antigua. She disdains marriage, and works hard to succeed at making the plantations successful. After a lot of trial and error and much help from slaves and neighbors, she does finally produce a small production of superior Indigo, which becomes the forerunner of one of the backbones of South Carolina's early economy. She goes on to marry Charles Pinckney and one of her sons is a signer of the U.S. Constitution. Quite a story of a remarkable woman.Two very opposite qualities were at play in this book. One, it was very well researched and relied heavily on letters and documents from the period, 1739-1744. Most of the characters were very real people, and since I live in the Charleston area, the locations and place names and descriptions were very familiar to me. Two, there were times when the narration very nearly descended into romance novel territory, with heaving bosoms, tintillating glances, and burning sensations. The author saved herself each time by seeming to remember that this was more of an historical novel. I did check into her previous books, and they seem to all be in the romance novel genre, so I suppose old habits are hard to break.Having said that, I did enjoy the story, and learned enough from it that I will check into some of the non-fiction works listed in the bibliography.Fun fact I did not know: The SC State Flag has a deep blue background because of the importance of Indigo in the history of our early settlement.
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  • Christie«SHBBblogger»
    January 1, 1970
    Title: The Indigo GirlSeries: StandaloneAuthor: Natasha BoydRelease date: October 3, 2017Cliffhanger: NoHEA(view spoiler)[Yes (hide spoiler)]Lately, I've been searching for books that are outside the contemporary romance sphere. Has it been because I've read the same thing too many times, or are original plots about unique characters genuinely becoming more scarce? I can'tNoBoydReleaseStandaloneGirl Title: The Indigo GirlSeries: StandaloneAuthor: Natasha BoydRelease date: October 3, 2017Cliffhanger: NoHEA(view spoiler)[Yes (hide spoiler)]Lately, I've been searching for books that are outside the contemporary romance sphere. Has it been because I've read the same thing too many times, or are original plots about unique characters genuinely becoming more scarce? I can't say. Here's one thing I can say with certainty:The Indigo Girl is special and it deserves to be voraciously devoured and appreciated by readers. Those who are hungry for a story that will move them and linger in their minds. You WILL soak this story up like a sponge, passionately shouting your enthusiasm to anyone who will listen.It's that kind of book.Like me, it's very likely you'll say to yourself, "How did I not know about this incredible woman?" She was so revered and respected that our first president publicly acknowledged and honored her contributions to the country. In colonial America, women were quite literally dismissed as silly and inferior as the general rule. Yes, gender inequality is alive and well today. But there's no comparison to how women's choices were taken away and their lives completely controlled in Eliza Lucas' time. The enormity of what she accomplished is immeasurable. Especially when you consider that this was a teenage girl who shattered the limitations placed around her by society.Eliza grew up in the Caribbean island of Antigua, and moved to South Carolina with her affluent family as a young girl. With racial and political tensions rising, moving off the island was a move considered for everyone's safety. She and her father developed a close relationship as she matured, one that grew out of respect and love. He unconventionally fostered her fascination with botany and her interest in the management of the numerous plantations they owned. If I loved someone would that be enough when I no longer had the satisfying business of a plantation to run? My drive to succeed and improve our lot, as unattractive a quality as Mama said it was, couldn’t be helped. Encouraging interests outside of finding a husband was virtually unheard of in those days. However, as the oldest sibling of four, she was depended on to help as her younger brothers obtained their education in England. When her father leaves to report to the British Army, his desire to rise in the ranks of the military lead him to entrust their plantations in Eliza's capable care. Much to his wife and many neighbors' dismay. Unbeknownst to Eliza, her family's livelihood was quickly deteriorating due to her father hemorrhaging money towards his military ambition. She soon realized that with their homes heavily mortgaged, they were barely scraping by and paying the bills. One wrong move, and the whole house of cards would come tumbling down. I felt like I was holding on too tight to everything . My ambitions, my emotions … I feared they would soon slip through my fingers and unravel at lightning speed.Her solution was diversifying into the extremely profitable, but mysterious indigo plant. Everyone knew that the dye extracted from indigo was highly sought after and desired. The challenge wasn't just finding someone willing to share the delicate process of accurately producing it. There were few that had faith that a slip of a girl could succeed where so many men before her had failed. But she didn't let that stop her, because she had nothing to lose. With the faithful help of her neighbor, Mr. Pinckney, she set out to prove everyone wrong.Intertwined with Eliza's urgent struggle to prove her worth and bridge an independent life for herself, is a heartrending story about forbidden friendship. Ignorance and hatred separated two children whose bond could never have been accepted. The boy she knew in Antigua had been sold, but never forgotten. And his reappearance in her life had an immense emotional impact on her. Our friendship was the friendship of two connected souls who’d met in the shade of trees on a sugar plantation when our hearts were pure.This book made me feel so much, and not all of it was comfortable. Boyd doesn't shy away from depicting the horrors and injustice of slavery. It was enough to make your chest ache and your throat clog, thinking of the silent suffering that was endured. Eliza's mother enraged me on so many occasions. She had absolutely no sense of her daughter's strength and courage, often belittling her, or intentionally preventing her from succeeding. Her ambition for her daughter began and ended with marrying her off, while her brilliant and progressive mind was stifled.Treachery, betrayal, and tragedy pave the path to Eliza's dreams. Told in Natasha Boyd's beautifully descriptive narrative, The Indigo Girl captivated me, inspired me, and transported me to a volatile time filled with terrible despair and fragile hope. Eliza Lucas dared to reach for the impossible and changed the course of history. Even if you're not typically a reader of historical fiction, I believe you should give this powerful book a chance. It's been almost a week since I finished reading it, and my mind is still drifting back to Eliza's remarkable story. It's one I can easily say that I won't soon be forgetting. FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:
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  • FMABookReviews
    January 1, 1970
    OMG YOU GUYSSSSS!!! Have you ever read a book out of your normal comfort zone? Like one that isn't remotely what you would normally read but you ended up LOVING IT all the same??? ❝It was so unlike me, but yet, it was me. Something was unfurling within me from behind the fear of societal expectations. Something true and deep. A part of my soul I'd always known was there but never acknowledged. I knew I'd never completely stop playing the role assigned to me in this life, but I would never ever let it compromisesame??? OMG YOU GUYSSSSS!!! Have you ever read a book out of your normal comfort zone? Like one that isn't remotely what you would normally read but you ended up LOVING IT all the same??? ❝It was so unlike me, but yet, it was me. Something was unfurling within me from behind the fear of societal expectations. Something true and deep. A part of my soul I'd always known was there but never acknowledged. I knew I'd never completely stop playing the role assigned to me in this life, but I would never ever let it compromise me.❞ 'The Indigo Girl' by Author Natasha Boyd was PHENOMENAL! There was so much passion within the pages of this book that my heart ached! ACHED!This is not a typical romance, so don't go into this book expecting that. But 'The Indigo Girl' was filled with passion; passion for life, for love and humanity. It was a story filled with guarded intimacy, and forbidden love, a story that reminds you what it is to be human! And this piece of fiction is BASED ON A TRUE STORY!!! It was incredibly inspiring.Based on true life, 'The Indigo Girl' tells the story of Eliza Pickney. At 16, her father leaves her in charge of his plantations in the Carolinas. Her two brothers (the rightful heirs at that time) were away at school in England. So when her father had to return to Antigua, it was just Eliza, her mother, and younger sister. The family needed a Hail Mary to survive while her father was gone. They could not sustain all of the plantations they owned and her father's commission. It was up to 16-year-old Eliza to find a way to financially sustain her family.Indigo.One day while touring one of her families plantations, Eliza sees clothing on the women that reminds her of the Indigo her beloved Ben used to make. Having grown to love horticulture, she wondered if she could grow Indigo, there, in South Carolina. And if she could, would this be what saved her family?Not having seen her friend in many years, Eliza petitions her father to send Ben to teach her how to grow Indigo. Her father denies her request. Both for Eliza's reputation and the safety of her friend. Ben is the first friend Eliza made as a young girl and grew to be her best friend. He was also a slave. So Eliza presses on, she studies and asks questions. She befriends people and slaves who have experience growing seeds similar to Indigo as well as those who have knowledge of Indigo.Eliza was put in a precarious position. On the one hand, her father left her in charge of plantations and slaves. Her father wanted her to save the family of financial ruin or at the very least, keep the family afloat until her brother came of age and could take over in her father's place.On the other, her mother was dead set on marrying her off. Women weren't celebrated for their knowledge, this was a time when women didn't have power or a voice. Her mother didn't understand Eliza's exuberance, her independence, nor her strong sense of self. Eliza wanted to work. She was strong willed and had opinions. As a 16-year-old female, men were more interested in patting her on the head or dismissing her entirely than they were with accepting that she might be intelligent enough to make good decisions. Her value and worth were only what she could bring to a marriage and how she could provide for her husband. ❝This was perhaps my only chance to show my father I was destined for more than being some man's wife. Perhaps one day. But not yet. What was wrong with being a spinster anyway?❞ I so admire Eliza Pickney. She had a strong sense of right and wrong. Her fortitude was admirable. She was strong before her time. Had she been born today, she would have been celebrated for her ideas and her intelligence.This story evoked a myriad of emotions in me. I cried from sadness and I cried from anger. But I also gained a sense of appreciation for how far our gender has come!I first read this author when she penned 'Eversea', and the follow-up book, 'Forever, Jack'. I liked those well enough. But 'The Indigo Girl' was a superb! I am so happy that Natasha Boyd felt compelled to tell the story of such an amazing woman. While parts may be fiction, it is clear that Ms. Boyd did her research.Phenomenal! Exquisite! Passionate! I didn't want it to end!TRAILER**I was voluntarily provided this free review copy by the publisher. This did not influence my opinion of the book nor my review.**
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    3.5-Stars, rounded down.In the modern-day world where women feel liberated and equal, I wonder how many could take on the running of three plantations and assume the responsibility of dozens of people at the age of sixteen. That is what Eliza Lucas did in 1740s South Carolina, and in the process she cultivated the crop that saved the colony, indigo.I loved the historical aspects of this novel. There was so much that was genuine, including the excerpts from Eliza Lucas’ ac 3.5-Stars, rounded down.In the modern-day world where women feel liberated and equal, I wonder how many could take on the running of three plantations and assume the responsibility of dozens of people at the age of sixteen. That is what Eliza Lucas did in 1740s South Carolina, and in the process she cultivated the crop that saved the colony, indigo.I loved the historical aspects of this novel. There was so much that was genuine, including the excerpts from Eliza Lucas’ actual letters. On the flip side, the contrived part of this novel seemed contrived to me. But then, in a life as improbable as Eliza’s, I suppose all things are possible. The book started off slow and a bit simple for me, but it improved after a while and I did quite enjoy it by the end. It inspired me to know more about this woman and to wonder why she isn’t included in our American history books. After all, George Washington requested to be a pallbearer at her funeral.
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  • Deanne Patterson
    January 1, 1970
    A book has not truly touched my soul like this one has in a LONG time! Even though this book has 346 pages in it's hardcover edition it felt like a much shorter read because it was just that good! It was not a book that you say to yourself, geeze I have to slog through this to finish it. It kept me captivated throughout the whole book! It was so fascinating learning about the flower Indigo. It explained the while process from planting the seeds through harvesting the plant through the dyeing pro A book has not truly touched my soul like this one has in a LONG time! Even though this book has 346 pages in it's hardcover edition it felt like a much shorter read because it was just that good! It was not a book that you say to yourself, geeze I have to slog through this to finish it. It kept me captivated throughout the whole book! It was so fascinating learning about the flower Indigo. It explained the while process from planting the seeds through harvesting the plant through the dyeing process of cloth and how you prepare the dye. I had heard of the color indigo and knew the color came from a plant but never knew it was an actual flower grown in South Carolina. At times I just wanted to scream at the injustice of things I had read and I actually had to take a short break from reading at the unfairness of things that had made me sad. The story contained within is based on a true events and historical documents. Brilliantly fascinating. I will be looking for more books by this new to me author,Natasha Boyd.Pub Date 03 Oct 2017 Thank you to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for a review copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Camie
    January 1, 1970
    Need a good book featuring an unlikely heroine who deserves to be more widely known? This story of downright feisty Eliza Lucas who is very uncharacteristically left in charge of her father's 3 plantations in South Carolina at age 16 as he must leave the country to pursue his military ambitions is one that perfectly fits the bill. Without it having been based on a very real character who will make an indelible mark on the history of the South by learning to grow indigo as the French did, while m Need a good book featuring an unlikely heroine who deserves to be more widely known? This story of downright feisty Eliza Lucas who is very uncharacteristically left in charge of her father's 3 plantations in South Carolina at age 16 as he must leave the country to pursue his military ambitions is one that perfectly fits the bill. Without it having been based on a very real character who will make an indelible mark on the history of the South by learning to grow indigo as the French did, while making courageous decisions, and treating her inherited slaves as valuable friends, it may not have been believable. True to the nature of historic fiction , the author freely admits to adding a few characters and events to emphasize Eliza's youthful nature including several love interests, ( both involving some huge issues like that of the rare possibility of a slave/ master relationship or one that defied the cultural class system of the time) and others showing her propensity to kindness, proper treatment, and a yearning for understanding which unfortunately often caused a mix of good and bad results for her plantation workers. I'm not from the South and had no idea that the South Carolina flag is blue because of the importance of Indigo in it's history, or that it was a 16 year old girl who was responsible for it's success. Southern Living, says this book should be on your reading list, and I agree. Read for On The Southern Literary Trail - 12/18
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a bit on the fence when it comes to this book. I found Eliza Lucas to be an interesting historical character and as always is it interesting to learn more about someone that influenced US history so much with her striving to produce indigo dye. One the other hand was the addition of a childhood friend, a slave boy that her father sold and who later turned up as an indigo expert together with the man who owned him (who claimed to be the indigo expert of course) contrived. I have no problems w I'm a bit on the fence when it comes to this book. I found Eliza Lucas to be an interesting historical character and as always is it interesting to learn more about someone that influenced US history so much with her striving to produce indigo dye. One the other hand was the addition of a childhood friend, a slave boy that her father sold and who later turned up as an indigo expert together with the man who owned him (who claimed to be the indigo expert of course) contrived. I have no problems with changes to a historical figures life (if it works), but in this case, I just couldn't really find myself enjoying that aspect of the book.I was more interested in her own struggled with being a girl in a man's world, she's left to run the plantations when her father goes back to England since her brother is still too young. However, her time is limited since as soon as her brother comes of age will he take over. But, meanwhile, is she trying to produce indigo, which is the most interesting part of the book. Her willpower, the struggle against everyone that believes she will fail.I listened to the audio version of the book and it was an OK book. I never really loved the story, but it was interesting to listen to and get a bit of a history lesson about indigo and how important it would be for the future of the US.
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  • Karen Kay
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. At the age of 16, Eliza Lucas is tasked by her father to oversee three plantations while he returns to Antigua to pursue his military and political careers. After many failures and set backs, Eliza succeeds in growing an Indigo crop. What Eliza accomplished changed American history. This is a great book, the writing was easy to read and the story was very interesting. I really liked reading portions of Eliza's personal corresponden I received this ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. At the age of 16, Eliza Lucas is tasked by her father to oversee three plantations while he returns to Antigua to pursue his military and political careers. After many failures and set backs, Eliza succeeds in growing an Indigo crop. What Eliza accomplished changed American history. This is a great book, the writing was easy to read and the story was very interesting. I really liked reading portions of Eliza's personal correspondence. I definitely recommend this to anyone who like strong and inventive women in a historical setting.4☆
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  • Jill McGill
    January 1, 1970
    An absolutely breathtaking and touching novel that I couldn't put down! Highly recommend!
  • Stephanie Anze
    January 1, 1970
    "Impressions are all I am left with- impressions of hands dragging me down, squeezing my heart, keeping me under. Hands that want me to drown in my own creation. In my ambition.And Drown I did.I sank into the opaque blue abyss.Yet even though Indigo broke my heart, it saved my life.Indigo ran through my veins."Eliza Lucas is told by her father that he is leaving to pursue his political ambitions. He will be leaving Eliza, who is sixteen yaers old, in charge of "Impressions are all I am left with- impressions of hands dragging me down, squeezing my heart, keeping me under. Hands that want me to drown in my own creation. In my ambition.And Drown I did.I sank into the opaque blue abyss.Yet even though Indigo broke my heart, it saved my life.Indigo ran through my veins."Eliza Lucas is told by her father that he is leaving to pursue his political ambitions. He will be leaving Eliza, who is sixteen yaers old, in charge of overseeing all three of the Lucas' family plantations in South Carolina: Garden Hill, Waccamaw and Wappoo (the one the family resides in). Already involved in the daily runnings of the plantations, Eliza is ready for the challenge and passionate for making the properties profitable (as his father's political ambition rely on that). Seeking a crop that could yield a good profit, Eliza turns to Indigo. In her quest to produce it, she is sabotaged, at times by her own family. Still, she persists, a decision that will greatly impact her life and many more after her.WOW! This book is amazing. Without a doubt, one of the best I have read thus far this year. Eliza is just sixteen when put in charge of the three plantations in South Carolina. Her father, George Lucas, is heading back to the island of Antigua (where the Lucas family formerly resided) to pursue his military/political career. Eliza already helps her father in running Wappo but now she will be the boss. She is ready for the challenge despite being seen as too young, too ambitious and too female by the men. When she learns of Indigo and its potential profit, she is ready to try growing it. Growing Indigo, however, is a complicated endeavor. Eliza seeks advice from a source that many find controversial: her slaves. Through sheer grit and determination, Eliza changes the agricultural landscape of South Carolina. A book about perseverance, courage, guts, inspiration, trust and heart, this was a most fabulous read. Characterization was superb and the pace matched Eliza's zealous spirit. Fact and fiction were seamlessly mixed (kudos to Boyd for a very well researched book) and the historical aspect is simply fascinating. This is a narrative that I will not be forgetting any time soon. Highly recommend this book!Eliza Lucas was born on the island of Antigua (a British colony in the Caribbean) in 1722, educated in Britain and quite at a young age (16) put in charge of running the Lucas' family plantations (while also raising her younger sister Polly). It was while in Britian that Eliza learned and loved botany (a skill that came very handy when oveersing the plantations). Needing a profitable crop, Eliza looked to Indigo. At the time, Indigo was quite expensive to aquire and a monopoly of France. But Indigo is a temperamental seed and it took Eliza years before successfully producing the blue dye. When she achieved that (a fact that quite upset the French), Indigo production increased dramatically thus boosting the economy (Indigo was second only to rice in most profiatble crops in South Carolina). Eliza truly was an entrepeneur ahead of her time. In 1989 Eliza became the first woman to be inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame. When she died in 1793, President George Washington requested to be a pallbearer at her funeral. This is one impressive woman and its a shame that her contributions to society remained unknown for so long. Sincere thanks to Boyd for bringing her life into the spotlight where it most definitely deserves to be.
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  • Stephanie (Bookfever)
    January 1, 1970
    Historical fiction like The Indigo Girl that tells the story about a person in history that has actually excisted is my absolute favorite to read. Especially if they are about women who accomplished amazing things, like Eliza Lucas. Starting the book I knew nothing at all about her but I'm now so glad that Natasha Boyd wrote about this book. It made me want to find out even more about Eliza's life. I'm so fascinated by her right now.I absolutely loved Eliza. And they way the author w Historical fiction like The Indigo Girl that tells the story about a person in history that has actually excisted is my absolute favorite to read. Especially if they are about women who accomplished amazing things, like Eliza Lucas. Starting the book I knew nothing at all about her but I'm now so glad that Natasha Boyd wrote about this book. It made me want to find out even more about Eliza's life. I'm so fascinated by her right now.I absolutely loved Eliza. And they way the author wrote her. Eliza was ahead of her time and I just loved her courage and ambition and how in the end she never did give up on making indigo dye, even though people kept telling her she wouldn't be able to and even sabotaged her. She was a bit naive, it's true but that made her spirit even more lively and I was really rooting for her to succeed.Overall, The Indigo Girl ended up being my favorite book by Natasha Boyd so far and even one of my top favorite historical novels. I loved how well-researched the story was and that it was based on historical documents. The writing was amazing and I really liked reading the excerpts from Eliza's actual letters. They gave it all a little extra and made it even more enjoyable.
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    History comes to life thanks to Natasha Boyd who takes an obscure historical figure and tells the real-life story of Eliza Lucas in 1739. I owe my love of history to a high school history teacher who did this in my HS American history. She told us things that weren’t in our history book. We were expected to learn that on our own. Her tests weren’t questions about dates and such, but questions asking us to tell what we knew about the Teapot Dome scandal, for instance. But to get back to this fant History comes to life thanks to Natasha Boyd who takes an obscure historical figure and tells the real-life story of Eliza Lucas in 1739. I owe my love of history to a high school history teacher who did this in my HS American history. She told us things that weren’t in our history book. We were expected to learn that on our own. Her tests weren’t questions about dates and such, but questions asking us to tell what we knew about the Teapot Dome scandal, for instance. But to get back to this fantastic book which I didn’t want to end. Eliza Lucas is an enterprising, precocious sixteen year-old whose father puts in charge of the family’s three plantations in South Carolina. And she is up to the challenge. But in order to make their income meet the demands of her father’s military career, she determines to grow indigo which is an incredibly difficult crop to grow and produce the valuable dye. Eliza endures her mother’s demeaning and endeavors to get a husband along with physical hardships and dangers of possible slave uprisings. She is aided and encouraged by neighbors, one of whose name, I’m proud to say, I recognized as one of our country’s founding fathers. The audio is excellent, and the author, at the end tells how she took historical documents as her basis to elaborate and fill out the life of Eliza. If you like historical fiction, this is a book for you.
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  • Whitney
    January 1, 1970
    I firmly believe I could gush about this book until the world stopped spinning...But who knows how long that could be?So in the meantime, I will do my best to honor The Indigo Girl by writing as good a review as I possibly can.My love for Eliza is endless. I am SO in love with her--everything about her. Her strong character, her fiery spirit, her unwavering dedication to the ones she loved, her endless ambition. She was plucky, compassionate, and not afraid to put a man I firmly believe I could gush about this book until the world stopped spinning...But who knows how long that could be?So in the meantime, I will do my best to honor The Indigo Girl by writing as good a review as I possibly can.My love for Eliza is endless. I am SO in love with her--everything about her. Her strong character, her fiery spirit, her unwavering dedication to the ones she loved, her endless ambition. She was plucky, compassionate, and not afraid to put a man (or two, or three) in his place--no small feat for a woman in the 1700s!!! Basically what I'm getting at is she is everything I could hope to be as a human being. She's an idol. There's simply no denying that. In the past, when I heard someone ask the question, "If you could go back in time and meet one person, famous or non-famous, who would it be?" I cringed. Literally. I never had a proper answer to the query, and I would always wrack my brain for a good answer... But after reading The Indigo Girl, I know within my heart of hearts that if I had the chance, I would go back in time to meet Eliza Lucas. Hands down. I feel that to simply be in her presence would be one of the highest honors I could ever imagine. She's so inspiring, it's mindboggling!!!At merely 16 years old, Eliza faced more challenges than most men twice her age probably ever did. Yet she pulled through each time necessity called for it. Just when I thought she was going to break down at the news of yet another setback and fall to the floor, wailing and carrying on like the young women of her time were expected to, Eliza persevered. She kept on trudging. She assessed the situation from a rational standpoint, always wanting to remain fair to those around her, and she made it work. More than that, she made it better.To think that a woman like her actually existed takes my breath away and makes me so, so, so proud to be a woman. And quite frankly, when I read in the afterword that Eliza had (FINALLY) been inducted into the South Carolina Women in Business Hall of Fame, I bawled like a baby. Eliza, though long dead by now, finally received the recognition she so justly deserves.Boyd did a superb job capturing Eliza's very essence. There was not a single portion of the book where I doubted the authenticity of Eliza's story. And while I realize that an author can only do so much for a story when it's historical fiction, I truly hope (albeit unrealistically) that every bit of it was true. For any part of it not to be true would be an incredible shame! I found myself rooting for Eliza nonstop, and I feel that her choices would have been my choices had I been faced with the same challenges. She is an altogether unforgettable character. Beyond her tenacity and the determination she possessed to make her indigo crop a success and pull South Carolina out of its reliance on indigo trade with France, her treatment of and interaction with many characters in the book (Ben, Quash, Indian Pete, Sarah, Eliza's mother, and Mr. and Mrs. Pinckney) spoke volumes about the type of person she was. Her refusal to punish the slaves for their wrongdoings, her illegally teaching them to read, and (view spoiler)[her eventual manumission of Quash (hide spoiler)] was remarkable, to say the least. It was an absolute honor to read The Indigo Girl, and I know that I will be thinking about and reflecting on this book for years to come......And I can say with certainty that Eliza Lucas, though I never met her, is a woman who is very near and dear to my heart.*Note: A copy of this book was very kindly provided by NetGalley, the publisher, and the author in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Bookphenomena (Micky)
    January 1, 1970
    2.5-3 starsI am a fan of historical fiction and Natasha Boyd but I’m afraid this book didn’t thrill me in the way I was hoping it would. I will keep this fairly short but also aim to explain my thoughts and feelings. This is not romance, I would consider this straight historical fiction which might confuse other Natasha Boyd fans as she is known for successful contemporary romance. This wasn’t a problem for me per se, but there were two different strands of suggestion of romance and 2.5-3 starsI am a fan of historical fiction and Natasha Boyd but I’m afraid this book didn’t thrill me in the way I was hoping it would. I will keep this fairly short but also aim to explain my thoughts and feelings. This is not romance, I would consider this straight historical fiction which might confuse other Natasha Boyd fans as she is known for successful contemporary romance. This wasn’t a problem for me per se, but there were two different strands of suggestion of romance and both of these storylines lacked depth and execution for my taste.The story of a strong young woman coming of age with huge responsibility was an interesting concept and I wanted to be engaged but a slow start made investment difficult. I felt more pulled in at 25% and I found Eliza’s botanical endeavours initially interesting but eventually less so in the long run. The stories of the slaves were my favourite thing about this book. On the whole, I wanted more excitement in terms of storyline and a little more in character development.Whilst this book wasn’t eventually what I expected or wanted, I’m sure some will enjoy this tale, the setting and colours it conjures. THE INDIGO GIRL excels in description and painting the landscape. I remain a fan of Natasha Boyd and just wish my review could have been more favourable.A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through netgalley, in return for a honest review.Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.
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  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to love this book, but it was just ok. The history of Eliza Lucas Pinckney is so fascinating, but this author chose to spend a whole lot of time on her imagined inner romantic thoughts about the men in her life instead of focusing on her accomplishments. The invented character of Benoit and Eliza's fantasies about him - just unnecessary. Disappointing.
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    This book brings a story of a remarkable young woman who became a footnote in history and the author brilliantly revives her appearance from the past. Set in South Carolina in the first half of the 18th century, when Charleston is known as Charles Town, Eliza Lucas conveys her extraordinary story. At the age of 16, her father leaves her in charge of their plantations, while he travels to Antigua to further his political ambition. While inspecting plantations before her father leaves, she learns This book brings a story of a remarkable young woman who became a footnote in history and the author brilliantly revives her appearance from the past. Set in South Carolina in the first half of the 18th century, when Charleston is known as Charles Town, Eliza Lucas conveys her extraordinary story. At the age of 16, her father leaves her in charge of their plantations, while he travels to Antigua to further his political ambition. While inspecting plantations before her father leaves, she learns about indigo, used as a die of dark blue. Indigo is known as hard to cultivate and the dye-making process might be even harder. Her love for botany makes her eager to experiment in horticulture. And her determination to succeed makes her commit to trying and retrying to harvest this plant.This story fiercely captures Eliza’s spirit and desire to succeed. It is so profound; it will linger with you long after you are done reading. This book reminds me of Help by Kathryn Stockett, which went straight to stardom and the big screen. @Facebook/BestHistoricalFictionhttps://bestinhistoricalfiction.blogs...
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    This intriguing novel BLEW ME AWAY—new to me author Natasha Boyd is a fabulous storyteller!Eliza Lucas was a courageous + REMARKABLE woman way ahead of her time for the 1700’s. She was definitely one persistently strong woman which was unheard of for women to be in those days.Interesting to me is this is based off Eliza Lucas’ actual diaries from 1739-1744 + the author did extensive research to write this book. Definitely worth a pick if you enjoy historical stories!
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  • Aura
    January 1, 1970
    Eliza Lucas is a 16 year old who is left in charge of a slave owning plantation while her father goes off to Antigua to tend to other matters. Young Eliza decides that the future is Indigo and so she launches into this endeavor even though many people want her to fail and a handful help her succeed. There are many obstacles and of course there is the moral question of owning slaves. Amazing story that kept me enthralled from page 1 to the end. I was also amazed to read at the end that actually t Eliza Lucas is a 16 year old who is left in charge of a slave owning plantation while her father goes off to Antigua to tend to other matters. Young Eliza decides that the future is Indigo and so she launches into this endeavor even though many people want her to fail and a handful help her succeed. There are many obstacles and of course there is the moral question of owning slaves. Amazing story that kept me enthralled from page 1 to the end. I was also amazed to read at the end that actually this is based mostly on a true person Eliza Lucas Pinckney, an trailblazing South Carolinian who pioneered indigo as a profitable cash crop for the state. Fantastic historical fiction.
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  • Ann R
    January 1, 1970
    Book: The Indigo Girl by Natasha BoydGenre: Historical FictionSetting: Charleston, South CarolinaTime Period: 1739 - 1744 Notable Historical Events: 1. The Stono Rebellion2. Indigo production as a cash crop (US)This book was a page turner for me from beginning to end. Prior to reading this, I had little knowledge about indigo dye production in the 1700s and the difficulties associated with growing the plants. The fact that a 16 year old girl was integral to th Book: The Indigo Girl by Natasha BoydGenre: Historical FictionSetting: Charleston, South CarolinaTime Period: 1739 - 1744 Notable Historical Events: 1. The Stono Rebellion2. Indigo production as a cash crop (US)This book was a page turner for me from beginning to end. Prior to reading this, I had little knowledge about indigo dye production in the 1700s and the difficulties associated with growing the plants. The fact that a 16 year old girl was integral to the production of this crop in the US added to my interest in this story.Overall, the author managed a nice blend of historical facts and fiction in her writing. There is a relationship that develops along the way and that was the only instance I felt the events portrayed were out of sync with the rest of the story. Then again, I had to remind myself that although the main character Eliza Lucas was highly intelligent and responsible, she was still emotionally a young girl. One can only guess what actual conversations happened behind the scenes. The book does also touches on the treatment of slaves in the US. I'll add that Eliza comes across as empathetic and compassionate, or as much as she is allowed to be under the set of circumstances found on plantations during that time period.Side Note: More information about the Stono Rebellion can be found @ https://www.blackpast.org/african-ame...
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  • Mel (Epic Reading)
    January 1, 1970
    Certainly stories of strong historical women aren't unusual; even if history barely remembers them. We seem to want to tug on these journeys until their story unravels. Indigo Girl is a mostly true story. Eliza, our lead gal, was a women of not even 17 living in the American colonies in mid-1700s. The primary purpose of the story appears to be about Eliza but I actually think (based on the afterword); that this is really a story about indigo production and how to get by in the mid-1700s. The per Certainly stories of strong historical women aren't unusual; even if history barely remembers them. We seem to want to tug on these journeys until their story unravels. Indigo Girl is a mostly true story. Eliza, our lead gal, was a women of not even 17 living in the American colonies in mid-1700s. The primary purpose of the story appears to be about Eliza but I actually think (based on the afterword); that this is really a story about indigo production and how to get by in the mid-1700s. The perseverance and no quit attitude portrayed by Eliza in The Indigo Girls is something I think anyone can admire and wish for; regardless of time period or gender.As it's the mid-1700s on a plantation in what would later become South Carolina; inevitably much of the book is about slavery. Eliza was a very progressive woman for her time and truly loved her slaves like family. This caused her a lot of heartache but also meant she fought hard for her slaves and treated them well. At one point I did get tired of how 'special' Eliza was that she saw her slaves as real people instead of, well, slaves. I suppose that is because to us, today, it seems so obvious that everyone should be seen and treated equally. This was the largest annoyance I had in Indigo Girl is that it got a bit repetitive about Eliza's special bond with the slaves. However, without a doubt Eliza's love for anyone with a good heart is what makes this a poignant and sometimes sad story. Especially the elements of it that are definitely true. Natasha Boyd makes a point at the end of letting the reader know what characters were fiction and which were real people. In a historical book built on truth I always appreciate this. There's also a bibliography if you want to read more about Eliza. I love that most of the letters are quoted direct from Eliza's real life letters. I would highly recommend The Indigo Girl for anyone that loves historical stories; but also to those with a keen interest in some of the building blocks of the future that people in the USA laboured so hard to create. This Canadian is very glad to have learned the story of Eliza and her Indigo dye. To read this and more of my reviews visit my blog at Epic ReadingPlease note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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  • Anita
    January 1, 1970
    I appreciated the opportunity to learn about a fascinating woman that I hadn't known about before. However, it was a pretty unsatisfactory read in terms of the quality of the writing. It was utterly obvious that the writer normally writes contemporary romantic fiction. So many pounding hearts! So many urges to touch or to brush a lock of hair out of someone's eyes! And in most cases these details did nothing to further our understanding of the story or of the character. Also while there were sec I appreciated the opportunity to learn about a fascinating woman that I hadn't known about before. However, it was a pretty unsatisfactory read in terms of the quality of the writing. It was utterly obvious that the writer normally writes contemporary romantic fiction. So many pounding hearts! So many urges to touch or to brush a lock of hair out of someone's eyes! And in most cases these details did nothing to further our understanding of the story or of the character. Also while there were sections in which the dialogue seemed fairly true to the period, there were other cases in which the author put words into the character's mouths that were completely inappropriate - such as Eliza saying that someone was (or was not, don't remember) "guilting" someone. I am glad to have become aware of and interested in this historical figure - but I found it, really, a disappointing read.
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  • Christine (Shh Moms Reading)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars!I'm glad that I stuck through this one. It was very hard for me to get into the first 25-30% because the story moved rather slowly. What kept me going was knowing that this was based on real life letters from a girl named Eliza whose father left her and her family to fight in the war.Once you pass this hump, the story flies as Boyd takes us on a journey of a sixteen year old girl with such fierce drive to prove that she can do what any boy or man can do in this time p 3.5 stars!I'm glad that I stuck through this one. It was very hard for me to get into the first 25-30% because the story moved rather slowly. What kept me going was knowing that this was based on real life letters from a girl named Eliza whose father left her and her family to fight in the war.Once you pass this hump, the story flies as Boyd takes us on a journey of a sixteen year old girl with such fierce drive to prove that she can do what any boy or man can do in this time period—be successful in running her family's plantations while attempting to produce indigo dye—something not done in rural South Carolina before.I enjoyed living Eliza's life and seeing her independence and strength of character but most of all seeing how smart and passionate she was to protect her family from losing everything they have worked so hard for. I loved her heart and her protectiveness of the people she loves especially in a time when slavery was so predominant, her heart and love for her people emitted from the pages.I would have loved to see more in regards to her forbidden friendship with Ben and even a peek into what life was like after the ending because while I knew going in that this was not a romance story, the little sneak peeks into the potential of what was shown to us really made my heart happy. I would have liked to spend more time with them.With every book, you have your set of antagonists and boy, did I really dislike those... I don't want to elaborate any more on this because I think it's so important to see for yourself how the story and the characters unfold. But a couple of them really made my blood boil!Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. It was a little slow moving at first but I enjoyed the overall message and theme. Most of all that it is different from the sea of books that are so similar. Knowing that this young girl had the gumption to push forward with her beliefs and who in the end is a big part of history made this story even more powerful because who doesn't love reading about a strong woman who stands up for what she believes in. <3
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  • Irene
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fictionalized account of the life of Eliza Lucas, a woman I had not heard of prior to reading this book. At the age of 16, Eliza’s father left her in charge of his heavily mortgaged plantations in South Carolina. It is the 1730s and he is off to earn a fortune and political post in Antigua. Having watched slaves in Antigua create die from the indigo plant when growing up in Antigua, Eliza decides this is the secret to saving the family land. Despite many odds, Eliza succeeds in growing This is a fictionalized account of the life of Eliza Lucas, a woman I had not heard of prior to reading this book. At the age of 16, Eliza’s father left her in charge of his heavily mortgaged plantations in South Carolina. It is the 1730s and he is off to earn a fortune and political post in Antigua. Having watched slaves in Antigua create die from the indigo plant when growing up in Antigua, Eliza decides this is the secret to saving the family land. Despite many odds, Eliza succeeds in growing the plant in South Carolina and introducing a very lucrative crop to the colony. I found the figure of Eliza fascinating. But I did not think this book did her justice. The author gives us characters that are less than nuanced. All the good folks in this book are very, very good and all the bad ones are horrid. Laughter bubbles up from those who are good, they smile with their eyes and touch tenderly while the others cackle, sneer and grab. Eliza always knows the right and courageous thing to say. She manages the house and farm, teaches the slaves to read and home schools her younger sister, performs all social obligations, teaches herself law and to play the harpsicord, and experiments with the cultivation of and production of indigo die. I just never believed that I was being offered an authentic picture of Eliza’s story. 2.5 stars
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