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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Based on historical documents and Eliza Lucas' own letters, this is a historical fiction account of how young Eliza Lucas produced indigo dye, which became one of South Carolina's largest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

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  • maureen m. mukhlis
  • 12-11-2017

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!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Schvell Williams
  • 12-02-2018

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-03-2018

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • njnc211
  • 17-08-2018

Interesting historical novel

Loved this novel giving the history of Eliza Lucas Pinckney in such an enjoyable story. If you are interested in South Carolina or pre revolutionary history, you will likely enjoy this account of a woman ahead of her time.

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  • @ntmc
  • 08-08-2018

amazing

highly recommend. very intuitive historical embellishment of the truth. a story to get lost in.

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  • Linda E
  • 06-08-2018

History with an Amazing story

I loved the Indigo Girl as I am drawn to early American history and also the Charleston, and deep south roots. The story is strongly based on the lead character. It forces you to see how reliant families were on teenagers in that era. Today you would have to look very hard to find a 16 y/o that would be able to manage a working plantation and be insightful enough to know a new plan would need to be found to maintain the lives of the family and inhabitants of that plantation.

The characters and story were well developed. Similarities to today's cultural challenges and those experienced in the early 1700's make the story relatable. I was appalled that the father took his military duties before his family, and the mother was too weak to be of any consequence.

It was an excellent read, hard to put down. The narrator was excellent, she kept my attention and helped me to visualize each scene as if I was there with them.

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  • Elizabeth W. Lister
  • 28-07-2018

Loved it.

This was a terrific book. Well written and researched. It depicted what it was like for a bright, intelligent, capable woman in the 1720s and how she managed although she was discounted at every turn. I recommend it highly.

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  • Michelle Hebberd
  • 17-07-2018

excellent story about a woman ahead of her time.

after visiting SC I became curious about the girl who developed indigo in the colonies which provided much of the wealth in that area. this story is about that 16 year old girl. it's an excellent book.

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  • Deborah Brennand
  • 24-06-2018

Incredible and captivating story

Don’t miss this book! I have never written a review but this book is memorable and so well told. Stayed up at night for hours to finish it!

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  • Bobbi
  • 18-05-2018

truly an inspiration

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

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-02-2018

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.