THE INDIGO GIRL by Natasha Boyd
In South Carolina in 1736, 16 year old girls were expected to be sweet, compliant and marry well. Eliza Lucas was anything but the normal Low Country girl. She was intelligent, educated and ambitious. Eliza was left to run to her father’s three plantations while he pursued his military career and jeopardized the family’s wealth and position.
When her family faced financial ruin it was left to Eliza to coerce an arrogant, incredulous male “consultant” and to befriend the family’s slaves to help her discover how to produce indigo dye all while discouraging suitors for her hand (and property). Her solution – teach the slaves to read (illegal) if they helped her.
Well researched and well written, the 5 years Eliza Lucas Pinckney ran her father’s plantations did not save her family’s lands but did secure South Carolina’s place in world trade and provided the fledgling United States with two astute politicians. Eliza’s actual letters to her friends, father and lawyer are interspersed throughout.
5 of 5 stars