The Indigo Girl by Natalie Boyd – Audio
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. 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.
My Review: 5 stars
The Indigo Girl is a beautifully rendered tale of Eliza Lucas and her journey to create indigo in the states. Her obstinacy, drive, courage and brains made her a woman to root for. It’s books like these that I’m beyond grateful for; they tell the little known story of fascinating American history. The importance of ink, as our country grew, was crucial.
The author, Natasha Boyd, knows how to spin a story. She’s written several contemporary romance series that have brought her much success. This book is his first foray into Historical Fiction and I’m hoping it’s not her last. Her background in romance was evident as she expertly wove flirtation and connection into the novel. The historical detail was on point, yet never felt like I was reading a Wikipedia page. Even the attention to dialect and terminology of the time period was spot on. I just loved this book.
With scares from Indians, slave uprisings and not knowing whom to trust, watching this sixteen-year-old girl navigate the plantations and overcome those who want to bring her down is quite inspiring. Eliza was a champion for the slaves and treated them with respect. Bringing this story to life is definitely a proud moment for women in history. I highly recommend this novel.
Quotes I liked:
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.”
– “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.”
– “Breathing in deeply, I fancied the day held the weight of destiny.”