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The Indigo Girl

A Novel
Written by: Natasha Boyd
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins

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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Based on historical documents and Eliza Lucas' own letters, this is a historical fiction account of how young Eliza Lucas produced indigo dye, which became one of South Carolina's largest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
  • 12-11-17

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!!

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathleen Retz
  • 29-11-18

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
  • 28-08-18

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
  • 08-08-18

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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  • Kimberly Sue
  • 27-08-19

Amazing! Perfect to listen to on walks.

such a fascinating novel about a fascination woman. Eliza Lucas (later Pinkney) is a woman who should be mentioned in history texts. Her story of strength, intelligence, ambition, and more, were uncommon for women at this time. Everywhere she went, both men and women attempted to "put her in her place", but she refuses to just sit down and let life happen to her...she wants to be a part of everything, and through the cultivation of indigo, she find s her purpose. I love how much of the book is historically accurate, and that her actual letters were used. I 100% recommend this novel...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Shelley
  • 23-07-19

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
  • 26-05-19

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
  • 08-03-19

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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  • Schvell Williams
  • 12-02-18

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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  • SKJ
  • 02-11-19

Wonderful story!

5 star review in all areas. I enjoyed the historical aspect of the story. The reader was wonderful! Highly recommend!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-02-18

Slow and Unbelievable

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