“A delight to read…Thank you, Natasha, for giving Eliza the recognition she deserves.” - Margaret F. Pickett, author of Eliza Lucas Pinckney: Colonial Plantation Manager and Mother of American Patriots, 1722–1793
In 1739, Eliza Lucas is sixteen years old when her father leaves her in charge of their family’s three plantations in South Carolina, then proceeds to bleed the estates dry in pursuit of his military ambitions. Her mother wants nothing more than for their South Carolina endeavor to fail so they can go back to England. Her family is in danger of losing everything.
Hearing how much the French pay for indigo dye, Eliza believes it’s their salvation. But thwarted at every turn, even by her family, Eliza finds her only allies in an aging horticulturalist, a 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 develops an incredible story of romance, intrigue, hidden friendships, threats, ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice, based on historical documents and Eliza Lucas’ own letters.