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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 Flor 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 Based on historical documents, including Eliza's letters, this is a historical fiction account of how a teenage girl produced indigo dye, which became one of the largest exports out of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.


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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 Flor 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.

30 review for The Indigo Girl

  1. 4 out of 5

    Angela M

    4+ stars If 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 excerpt 4+ stars If 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.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Beata

    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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dem

    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 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.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Fran

    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"

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    !! NOW AVAILABLE !! “1739 The 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 !! NOW AVAILABLE !! “1739 The 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 2017 Many thanks for the ARC provided by Blackstone Publishing

  6. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    This is an excellent example of how a well-researched historical fiction book can bring lesser known historical figures to life— and make both their accomplishments and historical eras accessible to modern readers. I loved Eliza Lucas and found myself annoyed at how little control she really had when all was said and done. She runs her father’s estates as if she were the heir, but she is often reminded by others just how little she is valued. Although the story started off slowly, it really star This is an excellent example of how a well-researched historical fiction book can bring lesser known historical figures to life— and make both their accomplishments and historical eras accessible to modern readers. I loved Eliza Lucas and found myself annoyed at how little control she really had when all was said and done. She runs her father’s estates as if she were the heir, but she is often reminded by others just how little she is valued. Although the story started off slowly, it really starts moving after her father leaves South Carolina and Eliza is left to deal with the plantations, her ill mother, younger sister, household, slaves and an experimental crop— indigo. I found both Eliza and her story fascinating. Some characters may have been invented for drama but the author did an excellent job of reminding the modern reader just what Eliza was facing. She’s been lost to history but this book gives Eliza Lucas her due.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    *****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 *****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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Diane Barnes

    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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Irene Sim

    REVIEW OF 07/08/2017 4,5 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 REVIEW OF 07/08/2017 4,5 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. ********* Arc provided by Blackstone Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I 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: 36/52 In the category: "A book in which the protagonist is a historical person"

  10. 5 out of 5

    JimZ

    I thought this was a very good read —the writing was pretty good and her story line held my attention throughout. A solid 3.5 stars so rounded up is a 4. The novel tells the story of Eliza Lucas, the indigo plant, and the great difficulty and the skills needed to extract dye that could come from the plant, indigo dye. The time was 1739 and the place was one of the colonies of England, South Carolina. Eliza was a young white woman (actually 16 years old at the beginning of the novel) who was given I thought this was a very good read —the writing was pretty good and her story line held my attention throughout. A solid 3.5 stars so rounded up is a 4. The novel tells the story of Eliza Lucas, the indigo plant, and the great difficulty and the skills needed to extract dye that could come from the plant, indigo dye. The time was 1739 and the place was one of the colonies of England, South Carolina. Eliza was a young white woman (actually 16 years old at the beginning of the novel) who was given the responsibility by her father to run the family plantation in South Carolina. The father had gone back to Antigua to maintain his commission in the Armed Services to the Crown, but had every confidence in his daughter that she had the smarts to manage his business dealings and plantation. The main crop they grew was rice, but Eliza was fascinated with the possibility of growing indigo. Indigo is a color in the visible spectrum, as well as one of the seven colors of the rainbow: the color between violet and blue. Back in the day, it was an extremely rare dye to produce. Only several countries in the world produced it and it commanded a very high price. It was almost unheard of to grow the plant that produced indigo in the American colonies because the climate was not well suited to the plant. But Eliza through a neighbor who was an amateur horticulturist learned of it and was hell-bent to grow it. Eliza was the principal protagonist — other principal players were: • Ben, a black man who was once her best friend when they were both very young but then he left the plantation only to return as a young man who knew how to grow the indigo plant and the process of producing dye from it. • Ben’s “master”, Mr. Cromwell, who was white and who supposedly was the expert of producing indigo dye, and was out for number one (himself) and nobody else. • Sarah, a young black woman who was a slave and had a young child because her “overseer” had non-consensual sex with her. • Charles Pinckney, a white married lawyer who was friends with her father and offered assistance to Eliza whenever she asked for it. I think the author characterized this novel as historical fiction. This is what she said at the end of the book: “The story that you just read was based on true events and historical documents. However, as with any fictionalized version of history there are elements that had to be created to demonstrate character to give fabricated reasons for actions where the truth behind certain deeds has been lost to time.” The story in this novel takes place in the context of slavery, and in the hierarchy of males over females. One disconnect to me about the novel was a description given in the synopsis of the novel in the inner flap of the dust jacket — it said that her father left her in charge of their family’s three plantations, and then “proceeds to bleed the estates dry in his pursuit of his military ambitions.” As if his actions were selfish and malevolent, but that is not the impression I got from reading the actual novel. Maybe I missed something. One word I learned for this novel occurred in this sentence: “I must thank you and Mrs. Pinckney for being so accepting in light of my hoyendish reputation.” That comes from “hoyden” which is “a girl or woman of saucy, boisterous, or carefree behavior”. 🧐 Reviews: https://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book... https://historicalnovelsociety.org/re... (Issue 82, November 2017) from a blog site: https://whatcathyreadnext.wordpress.c...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christie«SHBBblogger»

    Title: The Indigo Girl Series: Standalone Author: Natasha Boyd Release date: October 3, 2017 Cliffhanger: No HEA(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 ap Title: The Indigo Girl Series: Standalone Author: Natasha Boyd Release date: October 3, 2017 Cliffhanger: No HEA(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:

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emily D-W

    I wanted to read this book because I am moving to South Carolina and because I am a historical fiction nerd. The story of Eliza Lucas was fascinating, but the story of the enslaved people working on her plantation seems to me to be less historical and more revisionist. The enslaved characters want to help Eliza - it is a team effort to grow indigo - she refers to them only as “servants” and nicknames them, teaching some men how to read. The way this book is written suggests that Eliza was a “goo I wanted to read this book because I am moving to South Carolina and because I am a historical fiction nerd. The story of Eliza Lucas was fascinating, but the story of the enslaved people working on her plantation seems to me to be less historical and more revisionist. The enslaved characters want to help Eliza - it is a team effort to grow indigo - she refers to them only as “servants” and nicknames them, teaching some men how to read. The way this book is written suggests that Eliza was a “good” slaveowner and almost glorifies the institution of slavery...I say, there is no such thing as a good slaveowner, and this book borders on suggesting that “slavery wasn’t all bad.” No thank you.

  13. 4 out of 5

    FMABookReviews

    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 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.**

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    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. 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.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    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 fli 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.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    Indigo Girl is a wonderful historical fiction novel, based on the life of Eliza Lucas.It is set in 1739 South Carolina. Eliza st the age of 16 is left with the responsibility of her father’s plantations. Her mother is ill and her brothers are away from home. Her father leaves for Antiqua to commence his career This is a time where a woman is not allowed to own property. Their goal is to marry well. Natasha Boyd has blended facts and fiction to tell this remarkable story. There are many documents Indigo Girl is a wonderful historical fiction novel, based on the life of Eliza Lucas.It is set in 1739 South Carolina. Eliza st the age of 16 is left with the responsibility of her father’s plantations. Her mother is ill and her brothers are away from home. Her father leaves for Antiqua to commence his career This is a time where a woman is not allowed to own property. Their goal is to marry well. Natasha Boyd has blended facts and fiction to tell this remarkable story. There are many documents left by Eliza that tell her story in this book. It is an amazing story of determination and courage. Eliza is left with many debts on the properties and wants to please her father by being successful in riding these debts. Many frown on her, she is just a child want does she know. Her own mother just wants to get her married and forget about all her nonsense. Eliza has the foresight to grow indigo. After many failures, she is finally successful. Her Indigo is said to be even better than France’s. Eliza becomes a heroine for South Carolina. Before I read this book, I knew nothing about indigo. This novel is a wealth of information on this subject. I think all who liked to read about strong woman should read this book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Camie

    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

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jill McGill

    An absolutely breathtaking and touching novel that I couldn't put down! Highly recommend! An absolutely breathtaking and touching novel that I couldn't put down! Highly recommend!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bookphenomena (Micky)

    2.5-3 stars I 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 thes 2.5-3 stars I 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 the most interesting narrative 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 the depth 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.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    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.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    In 1739, sixteen-year-old, Eliza Lucas, was left to manage their South Carolina plantation and two other properties and to look after her fragile mother and young sister as her father returned to Antigua to pursue a military commission. Her two younger brothers were in England studying. Her father was mortgaging the properties to further his military career as a colonel. Eliza was determined to make the properties a financial success and to show her father his trust and faith in her was valid. T In 1739, sixteen-year-old, Eliza Lucas, was left to manage their South Carolina plantation and two other properties and to look after her fragile mother and young sister as her father returned to Antigua to pursue a military commission. Her two younger brothers were in England studying. Her father was mortgaging the properties to further his military career as a colonel. Eliza was determined to make the properties a financial success and to show her father his trust and faith in her was valid. The Garden Hill and Waccamaw lands had overseers but the Wappoo plantation would be her sole responsibility. Upon hearing how profitable indigo could be, she was determined to cultivate it. However, growing indigo for dye was not only difficult but entailed a complex extraction process. She begged her father to send seeds and a consultant such as her dear childhood friend and slave, Ben, as her first attempts failed. She clashed with her mother who wanted Eliza to marry while Eliza foisted off unwanted suitors. However, she was not one to idle her time and constantly was working and learning. Eliza’s friends ranged from Essie (a slave who had tended for her since childhood in Antigua and protected her with spells), the widowed Mary Chardon and her parents, the Woodwards (neighbors with whom her and her mother socialized with often), Mr. Deveaux (a kindly neighbor and fellow “botany enthusiast”), the Pinckneys (the childless couple who provided comfort and guidance), and Miss Bartlett (the youthful niece of the Pinckneys with whom she corresponded). The author masterly and elegantly used the correspondence of this real woman and other research to write this novel of her struggles, determination, and her relationships with the slaves in her pursuit to create a successful indigo dye industry for the Colonies despite efforts to sabotage her. She bucked the system, teaching reliable and indispensable Quash and other slaves to read and extended friendship and respect to them. “Being a woman was my lot. But it was also my difference.” Eliza is an inspirational role model for all and passed it on to her progeny. One son negotiated the Pinckney Treaty of 1795 establishing the relationship and borders between the United States and Spain for Spanish Florida and establishing trade along the Mississippi River. Her other son was a Founding Father of our country and represented South Carolina at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The author claims that the blue in the South Carolina flag is in honor of indigo. I read that it was based on the color of the South Carolina militia uniforms, which contrasted with the red uniforms of the British. I recommend this book of a fiercely strong, independent, and visionary young woman who did not let her circumstances thwart her ambitions.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Anze

    "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' "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.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Afton

    I have so many problems with this book. Spoilers below, fyi. First of all, she has slaves from day one to the end of her life, yet is portrayed as pure hero for the entire book. The afterword makes much of the fact that she eventually frees Quash, one of her slaves from her plantation full of slaves. The cliché that a slave owner who doesn't beat his/her slaves is a hero? I'm so over it. Here, I'll interject that I'm fine with protagonists who aren't perfect. But don't write a book about a perfect I have so many problems with this book. Spoilers below, fyi. First of all, she has slaves from day one to the end of her life, yet is portrayed as pure hero for the entire book. The afterword makes much of the fact that she eventually frees Quash, one of her slaves from her plantation full of slaves. The cliché that a slave owner who doesn't beat his/her slaves is a hero? I'm so over it. Here, I'll interject that I'm fine with protagonists who aren't perfect. But don't write a book about a perfect, glorious hero when we can see a bunch of flaws that are obviously there and go completely unaddressed. My other biggest issue is Eliza's relationship with Charles. They are flirting, seeking out times to be alone, basically confessing to burgeoning romantic feelings, all while Charles' wife is alive and healthy! And then when his wife is dying, on her deathbed, she gives Eliza permission to go after Charles. And so then I guess Eliza is supposed to be totally safe from any judgement by us on that point? That did not fly with me. Related to that^, why on earth did the author make up the character of Ben? And make him wonderful and honorable, and in love with Eliza? And she with him? And then have him die and have Eliza marry Charles and expect us all to be excited about this beautiful love story?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie (Bookfever)

    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. El 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.

  26. 5 out of 5

    KarenK

    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☆

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aura

    Eliza Lucas is a 16 year old who is left in charge of a slave 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 Eliza Lucas is a 16 year old who is left in charge of a slave 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.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joy D

    Historical fiction based on the life of Eliza Lucas, a real person of history and a key contributor to the development of indigo crops in the American south in the mid-1700’s. At the age of sixteen, her father put her in charge of the family’s plantations while he returned Antigua. The family owned slaves and Eliza is portrayed as a kind person with strong opinions against slavery. The author has done research about the life of Eliza Lucas, using excerpts from her actual letters during this peri Historical fiction based on the life of Eliza Lucas, a real person of history and a key contributor to the development of indigo crops in the American south in the mid-1700’s. At the age of sixteen, her father put her in charge of the family’s plantations while he returned Antigua. The family owned slaves and Eliza is portrayed as a kind person with strong opinions against slavery. The author has done research about the life of Eliza Lucas, using excerpts from her actual letters during this period. In the Afterword, Boyd clarifies what parts were fabricated. I enjoyed learning about this lesser known person of history. Eliza Lucas is portrayed as a strong woman, able to handle significant responsibilities in an age when women were not believed to be capable of logical reasoning. The main drawbacks have to do with the portions that are fabricated. We are privy to Eliza’s inner thoughts, which sound more modern than the 1700s. The slavery issue seems to be glossed over in the attempt to highlight Eliza’s achievements.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    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 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.*

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn in FL

    Terrific historical account of a real-life maverick woman standing up to her community to pursue her dreams and save her family's legacy. Based on tremendous research and use of letters of correspondence, this well written story recounts nearly four years of Eliza Lucas's life. She makes a very intriguing main character, who faced with multiple adversities and those who battle her (her family, her neighbors, overseer and her slaves) and those who support her, (her friends and her slaves) to over Terrific historical account of a real-life maverick woman standing up to her community to pursue her dreams and save her family's legacy. Based on tremendous research and use of letters of correspondence, this well written story recounts nearly four years of Eliza Lucas's life. She makes a very intriguing main character, who faced with multiple adversities and those who battle her (her family, her neighbors, overseer and her slaves) and those who support her, (her friends and her slaves) to overcome societal rules and mores as well as climate, nature and business challenges. At age 16, Eliza Lucas is designated as her father's manager of his 3 Carolina Plantations, when he returns to Antigua (Caribbean) to uphold his military assignment (and pursue his ambition of being chosen by the King to be Governor). Meanwhile her own mother sabotages her before others and behind her back for selfish motives of her own. Eliza only realizes after she is in charge that her family's finances are precarious and she must shore up the debt or be married off to the first "bidder" if the family becomes destitute. While her peers are going to parties and balls looking for mates. Eliza is seeking solutions. Eliza is quite a clever young woman and with her strong will faces the obstacles of being a female leader at a time, when young ladies sole pursuit is to marry and give birth to heirs for their husbands. She merges her need to maintain her families financial survival and realizes an opportunity to merge her love of botany by experimenting with the weed from which indigo is produced. This was an inspiring tale. Ms. Boyd admits that she adds some "spice" by incorporating forbidden love interest(s) that may have existed based on the innuendo found in correspondence, however, there is no solid documentation of such events. However, there is documentation of one man, who is substantially older, who asks her father for her hand. His tactics in his pursuit of her is appalling in manner. Lecherous is an adjective that comes to mind, arrogant another. His objective is the property he thinks is her dowry (it is mortgaged), her expressed disdain is quite hilarious. History has always held Eliza's offspring in high regard, due to the very key positions held by a son and other close family members achieved in history both in the founding of the nation and in S. Carolina politics. Though it took more than 270+ years later, for Eliza Lucas Pickney to gain attention and notoriety in her own right. Today, a museum and other groups discuss her achievements in general public sphere, (even a doll has been released). Indigo became a huge crop export of high quality because Eliza pursued its viability in a different region (it was a tropical plant) and she perfected it extraction (which is somewhat detailed in these pages). I found it fascinating. Released in 2017, I don't know how I missed this story but I am glad I got an opportunity to read it!

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