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Publisher's Summary

The year is 1739. Eliza Lucas is 16-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 becoming restless. Her mother wants nothing more than for their South Carolina endeavor to fail so they can go back to England. Soon, their family is in danger of losing everything.

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 her only allies in an aging horticulturalist, an older 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 dangerous and hidden friendships, ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.

Based on historical documents and Eliza Lucas' own letters, this is a historical fiction account of how young Eliza Lucas produced indigo dye, which became one of South Carolina's largest exports, an export that laid the foundation for the incredible wealth of the South. 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, at his own request, served as a pallbearer at her funeral.

This book is set between the years 1739 and 1744, with romance, intrigue, forbidden friendships, and political and financial threats weaving together the story of a remarkable young woman whose actions were far ahead of their time.

©2017 Natasha Boyd (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Maarleveld characterizes Eliza so well that listeners will feel they know her, and understand her complex emotions and struggles to succeed in a man’s world. Her excellent reading enlivens a large cast…Pacing is spot on.” - Booklist

“….fully transports the listener to a different time and place.” - AudioFile

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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You must read The Indigo Girl

This book was really incredible! I️ live in the area it is based upon, and this book has greatly increased my curiosity of the early history of the area. The author brought the characters to life in such a beautiful way!! I️ felt like I️ went back in time to that era. Her descriptions of the landscape and the plantation life was so interesting. I️ would love to see this book made into a major motion picture!!! It would rival “Gone With The Wind” I️ can’t wait to listen to it again!!! I️ was so sorry for it to end!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story base but too much Women’s lib and romance thrown in.

I enjoyed this historically based story . The author did a good job of describing and making the characters real. I found it incongruent that she attributes to Eliza many thoughts from women’s lib but does not have her question slavery deeply. The book flowed and kept my interest as a story while introducing me to a woman I want to know better.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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truly an inspiration

An easy read that is inspiring from the first page all the way to the last.

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Touches the human heart with inspiration sadness and hopefulness

At first I didn't like the slight British accent of the narrator but as the book progresses I grew to appreciate it. I really liked the end where they talked about the research into the history of the Liza picnic. Historical books are so much better when you know what was fact versus fiction. All in all I really enjoyed this book!

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  • Rose
  • PAWLEYS ISLAND, Seychelles
  • 05-05-18

a touch of history

I learned some new things in this book about my wonderful South Carolina. this is a great read

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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful Story

This is a beautiful story. The fact that it's based on an actual historical figure makes it even better. I certainly want to learn more about indigo and it's significance to our history. The narrator brought the character to life in my imagination.

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Historical novel at its best

A wonderful story and an amazingly talented narrator make The Indigo Girl a little gem. Adventures in a new-born America are in wait for Miss Eliza, together with a hard lesson too. Natasha Boyd was a new author to me and this book was a recommended read for the RARE18ROME Signing she will attend next June. I'd say I have found another go-to author in the historical romance genre. The Indigo Girl is a great coming-of-age novel and with the Eliza character Author Boyd has perfectly captured the spirit of the late 1700 America, as well as family dynamics and society expectations at the time.
Narrator Maarleveld's voice extension and colouring are perfect with both male and female characters, regardless of their age or ethnicity, and make each characters' personalities stand out.
A totally well-deserved 5-star rating.

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A Great Read

What a fabulous story based on the real life of Eliza Lucas. The narration was superb and the story fascinating!

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Very Blah...

Saskia can make any story come to life and she did her best, but this story line was not very interesting. Every turning point was a disappointment. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-26-18

Slow and Unbelievable

Book was slow and concentrated too much on tenuous imagined relationships. I realise historical fiction requires the author to fill in, but felt that, for example, in the relationship with Ben, the author imagined too much and too far using the sensibilities of a 21st Century mind - not using what should have been an 18th century mind. The author then scampered over much of the rest of her life in a frustrating epilogue! All in all it fell between two stools - neither being a rounded fictional novel, nor achieving historical accuracy despite claims to have used words from collected letters.