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The Indigo Girl

A Novel
Written by: Natasha Boyd
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (72 ratings)

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Based on historical documents and Eliza Lucas' own letters, this is a historical fiction account of how young Eliza Lucas produced indigo dye, which became one of South Carolina's largest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

What the critics say

“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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Intriguing Story

I really enjoyed this story about a remarkable girl in a period of time that was incredibly difficult. This book is well written and the story is well told. The narration was enjoyable. Recommended.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyed

I enjoyed this audible book. Would I listen twice, likely not. Definitely Worth a listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant, must read

Brilliantly written, narrated, and deeply rich story. The characters are vibrant and richly fleshed out. It's paced to keep the story at a rapt clip, keeping you fully engaged throughout the entire read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating biography of a woman centuries ahead

Centuries ahead of her time. Eliza Lucas Pinckney brought indigo dye production to South Carolina. This is a fascinating look at the life and mind of a woman who at 16 years old, took over the running of 3 plantations. Amazing woman! Excellent storytelling. Lovely narration.

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Beautiful!

I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful story about a strong and courageous young woman whose heart was full of love and kindness for all!

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    4 out of 5 stars

Pleasant surprise and fully captures me

I bought this book on a whim and am so pleased I did. The story is captivating and the anchor in historical fact makes it that much more fascinating. I couldn’t put it down.

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Fascinating

I had no idea that this story was based on a real person until I was part way through it. What a completely fascinating woman she must have been and this story is beautifully written. I would highly recommend

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well written and narrated but


kinda spoilers: only focused on her younger years, instead of quite possibly more interesting later years.
obviously the girl faced increased adversity because she was a young girl, especially in the culture at that time. However, the writer made too much of how tough it was to be a girl instead of a guy, excessively which took away from the story. like so many times it is just like "oh it would be so much easier if I was a guy." Felt like every chapter if not more. To be honest the only real disadvantage came from people trying to marry her whom she didn't want. There is no reason to suppose that if she was a boy her mother would have been content to stay in Carolina and not try to sabotage the farm or get her child married.

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  • maureen m. mukhlis
  • MYRTLE BEACH, SC, US
  • 2017-11-12

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!!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathleen Retz
  • 2018-11-29

My Best “Read”

Since my vision is deteriorating, I have turned to audibles selections to enjoy literature. The Indigo Girl was wonderfully entertaining and enlightening as to the history of Charleston, one of my favorite areas. That said, the author created a story based on fact and allowed a look at the role of women of the time period. The loves of Eliza, the difficulty of some plantation owners who respected and cared for their slaves, the disrespect for intelligent resourceful women held by many.. even other women of the time period. All woven together into a story that will challenge you to hold onto your emotions. The reader interprets the writing superbly and I will look for other stories that she performs. I so obviously recommend this novel.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynn
  • 2018-08-28

Wonderful Story

The Indigo Girl is an amazing story! Having just been in the Charleston area made it even better. The story, history, and narration make this one of my all time favorite books. Hope you enjoy it as well.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • @ntmc
  • 2018-08-08

amazing

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

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shelley
  • North Saanich, BC, Canada
  • 2019-07-23

A true American beroe

I loved this book. I always enjoy reading about historical figures and Eliza Lucas deserves to be remembered. Truly an amazing woman who lived far before her time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Maria Muscarella
  • 2019-05-26

Makes me want to play with Indigo!

This was such an enjoyable book. I loved learning more about the life of Eliza Lucas and her accomplishments. Such an amazing story. I wish there was more written about the lives of the slaves who passed on their knowledge and magic. (Not here in this book, but in general. It's not easy to find information about the people who helped Eliza with the indigo in real life.) I plan to travel to SC this summer to attend an indigo workshop and learn more about the plant Eliza loved.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Leslie
  • 2019-03-08

excellent read! I wish there were more like this!

All of it was delightful and intriguing.
I hope more come out like this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Schvell Williams
  • 2018-02-12

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Nellie
  • 2019-08-14

Amazing!

I absolutely loved this book. Although it started off a little slow once it got going I couldn't stop listening to it. it was refreshing to read about the story of such a young girl who was so determined. We need more people like her in this world!

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  • Shirley Keaster
  • 2019-08-11

An inspirational testimony to the power of determination

I cannot remember a recent time when I have enjoyed reading a book as much as this one.
It captured me from the first page to the very end.
I could not put it down.
I am interested in reading more about Eliza’’s
life and times