St. Gabriel Book Club
Join us May 21 at 1:30pm in the Annunciation Room for a discussion of “The Indigo Girl” by Natasha Boyd.
This is a historical novel set in South Carolina in 1739 and based on the true story of Eliza Lucas Pinckney. Her father leaves 16-year-old Eliza Lucas in charge of running his three heavily-mortgaged plantations while he pursues a military career in the Caribbean. He has trained Eliza well in business, agriculture, and plantation management, and she is bright, considerate, and ambitious. Eliza sees the production of indigo dye as the family’s financial salvation, but indigo is risky to grow, and dye-making is a valuable but well-kept secret so she must approach her new assignment with caution. Kindhearted Eliza is independent and forward-thinking. She defies the Negro Act of 1740 and teaches her slaves to read, seeks their advice, and banishes the lash. As a marriageable young woman she rejects all suitors and expects to be a spinster, but as the plantation booms and her public stature grows, so does her affection for a married gentleman friend. Add threats of war with Spain and the strict social and cultural codes for Southern women, and Boyd has crafted a captivating novel of Southern colonial history.