Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd

Her father has been called back to war.  Her brothers are still going to school in England and will have to do their service time, too.  She's sixteen but has been running the household and working with her father.  She even has had some good ideas for plantation improvements.  He puts her in charge of his three plantations in South Carolina and heads off on the next boat.  She has challenges ahead of her.

Blackstone Publishing and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 26th.

This is a fictional story based on historical facts.  There was such a woman.  The general circumstances fit the history and it's pretty amazing.

She's a young woman who is directing the caretakers on the plantations in what she wants them to raise and how much.  One man is good and manages to do more than she asked; the other is bad, beats his slaves, and ignores her requests.  She asks the man who is watching over her (one of her neighbors) to go with her when she visits with him but it doesn't go well.

Her father is robbing the plantations of their wealth in land by borrowing against them so he can complete his duties overseas.  They are not doing well enough in seasonal crops to keep up.  She knows they pay big money for indigo dye.  The French make it and sell it for top dollar.  The slaves know how.  She decides to try a venture in that.  

Her first seeds don't make it.  They have to plant later.  When she gets a really good crop, she asks her father to send someone over who is knowledgeable about harvesting it and getting the dye from the plants.  He does but the man doesn't want to help her.  He wants to marry her and own the plantation himself.  When she refuses, he ruins her crop.

This woman was smart, extremely strong, and refused to give up.  She lost her first love, her family left her, and it was just by fate that she found a husband she loved.

There is mini-biography about her at the end of the book.  I bet she would have been real interesting to talk to.

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