THE INDIGO GIRL

NATASHA BOYD

Book Cover

GENRE

HISTORICAL FICTION YOUNG ADULT

    Core Theme

    AMBITION, LOVE

    TIME PERIOD

    18th Century

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    LORNA DOONE, JOHN ADAMS MINISERIES

    CHARACTER LIST

    • ELIZA LUCAS: 16-20’S, STRONG, DETERMINED, AMBITIOUS, UNCONVENTIONAL

    • BEN: 20’S, CAUTIOUS, SMART, WANTS TO BE FREE, SLAVE, CHILDHOOD FRIEND OF ELIZA

    • COLONEL LUCAS: 50S, AMBITIOUS, MILITARY, FARMER, SUPPORTIVE, ELIZA’S FATHER

    • SARAH: 20S, HAUGHTY, PROUD, SLAVE, WORKS ON ELIZA’S PLANTATION

    • QUASH: 20S, SMART, LOYAL, PROTECTIVE, SLAVE AND FRIEND OF ELIZA CHARLES

    • PINCKNEY: 40S, HANDSOME, KIND, MENTOR, LAWYER, CONFIDANTE AND EVENTUAL HUSBAND OF ELIZA

    Logline

    Based on a true story, 16 yo Eliza Lucas is left in charge of her father's plantations in 1700's South Carolina. Unlikely allies and dangerous friendships help her find the secret to developing lucrative indigo dye, her endeavors changed the economic foundations of the south.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal,Female Leaning

    Setting

    Charleston, South Carolina

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

    Year Published: 2017

    Starting Description

    Newly arrived from Antigua, 16 year old Eliza Lucas is left in charge of her father's 3 plantations. After overhearing how much the British pay the French for Indigo dye, she embarks on a mission to produce it. Against the law, she will teach the slaves to read in return for their ancient knowledge.

    Ending Description

    After being thwarted at every turn, and almost ruined, with the help of slaves Quash and others, they are finally successful at making dye-her family no longer even owns the land beneath the crop! That success ends up saving the economy of South Carolina as the British and French declare war.

    Group Specific

    Southern United States, Forgotten Women, Women Entrepreneurs.

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    1538552922

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Meaningful Message

    Plot - Premise

    Rags to Riches

    Main Character Details

    Name: Eliza Lucas

    Age: 16-21 over the course of the book

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Outspoken,Visionary,Leader,Honorable,Educated,Heroic,Confident,Aspiring,Empathetic,Underdog,Skillful

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Charles Pinckney

    Age: 42

    Gender: Male

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Charming,Complex,Confident,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Heartthrob,Educated,Honorable,Masculine,Sophisticated

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Benoit Fortuné

    Age: 19

    Gender: Male

    Role: tempter

    Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Desperate,Complex,Heartthrob,Masculine,Secretive,Unapologetic,Lone Wolf

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Nicholas Cromwell

    Age: 40

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Greedy,Insecure,Villainous,Narcisstic,Blunt,Power Hungry,Manipulative,Unapologetic,Complex,Crazy,Desperate

    Development Pitch

    An inspiring woman’s story that deals with gender, race and class. Opportunity for stunning visuals (the indigo process), could be feature length or 6 part mini-series. When Eliza Lucas, our main character passed away in 1792, George Washington, at his own request, was a pall bearer at her funeral. The story opens in 1739. Eliza is just sixteen 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. Soon her family is in danger of losing everything. An incredible story of love, dangerous friendships, ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice. Based on actual documents, including Eliza's letters, and real names of the enslaved on this piece of land. Readers have loved hearing such an inspiring and progressive young woman existed before her time. Just as she’s on the cusp of success, the man her father sends to help, betrays her by ruining the first successful batch of indigo. And soon after, the last chance for salvation goes down with a sinking boat. On board? Eliza’s dearest childhood friend, slave, and indigo-maker,and a relationship she’s had to defend. But through her relationship with her slaves, and one in particular, Quash, they eventually find success to save the futures of everyone on the plantation (and ultimately the country!), even though the land beneath their feet is now lost. America owes Eliza a debt that can only be repaid by never forgetting her

    Genre

    DRAMA

    Brief

    An unconventional young woman is left in charge of her father's plantations in South Carolina. She works humanely with the slaves in her employ to learn how to grow and harvest indigo dye. She is ultimately successful and her endeavor bolsters the economy of the colonial south.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

    Characterization: EXCELLENT

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: EXCELLENT

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The book profile is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    The strong convictions of the young heroine is captivating from the start.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Nothing felt compelling enough to abandon the book. It is quite enjoyable and well done.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    It is based on an inspirational true story.

    Fanbase Potential

    This would probably have limited fanbase. The period and subject matter seem geared to an older more refined audience rather than the large mainstream .

    Awards Potential

    This might have Awards potential. It is sweeping and emotional and their opportunities for strong actors and desirable roles for below the line talent as well.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    LORNA DOONE, JOHN ADAMS MINI SERIES

    What’s New About the Story

    It is quite a unique story about a woman ahead of her time. The originality is right where it should be.

    Lead Characters

    She is tenacious, ambitious, virtuous and quite likable.

    Uniqueness of Story

    It is a bit of a rare gem. It is quite well written, has a compelling concept and is backed up with strong characters.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Indie, Film - Studio, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    It is a very well done story and could be the perfect project for the right filmmakers. It is based on a true story, probably would appeal to a smaller sophisticated audience, but is still charming and marketable on a smaller scale.

    Brief

    The true story of an unconventional young woman who, left in charge of her father’s plantations, works humanely with the slaves to grow and harvest lucrative indigo dye that ends up shaping the economy of the American colonial south.

    What We Liked

    - It is based on a true story. It is an interesting tale that is well written and interesting. It is a small slice of American history that serves as an uplifting tribute to a remarkable young woman.
    - Film: A feature adaptation of the book would be compelling given the sweeping nature the story, strength of the characters and the historical relevance.
    - TV: Adapting this into a limited television series would be perfect for a high profile network that often produce good costume dramas.
    - Key points: Strong female lead; Romantic; Based on true events; Uplifting story; Awards potential

    Synopsis

    In 1739, Eliza Lucas is sixteen years old. After being raised in Antigua, she and her family relocate to rural South Carolina. Eliza is unconventional and quite interested in plants and trees. She is close to her father, Colonel Lucas, who has military ambitions back in Antigua. He decides to return and leaves Eliza in charge of their family's three plantations. She is very good at working the plantations and treats the slaves with respect and kindness. Eliza continues to do her best even though her mother wants her to get married instead and leave the plantation business to her younger brother, George.

    Eliza has no intention of becoming someone’s wife and continues to enjoy her work on the plantations. She often confides in Charles Pinckney, a lawyer and close neighbor. He helps advise her on her business affairs and they are quite fond of each other. She also has a good relationship with Quash and the other slaves. Quash is very loyal and protective of Eliza and her family, even saving them from becoming involved a slave revolt.

    As her father continues to mortgage the family assets, Eliza thinks of ways to make money to keep the plantations afloat. She knows that England will pay lots of money for indigo dye and she decides she would like to endeavor a business of producing it. Needing help in learning the complicated process of creating the dye from the plants, Eliza begs her father to hire someone to work with her. He hires a man named Cromwell who arrives with his slave, Ben. Eliza recognizes Ben as her best friend from her childhood in Antigua. Knowing the norms of the day, Ben rebuffs a relationship with Eliza much to her disappointment.

    As Ben and Quash work with Cromwell on the Indigo, Eliza teaches Quash and some of the other slaves to read which is against the rules for masters and slaves. Many obstacles plague Eliza’s effort with the indigo, including her own mother trying to sabotage her. Just as she is ready to have a triumphant beginning, Eliza arrives home to discover their inaugural batch of dye is ruined. Though it seems unlikely, Ben admits to destroying it. Ben runs away looking for his freedom. Eliza sends Quash after him.

    In a boating accident, Eliza’s rice crop is lost and Ben drowns. Devastated by his death and the failure of the indigo project, Eliza decides to give up and return to Antigua with her family. However, a new crop of indigo begins to sprout up. Quash and the other slaves, Togo and Sarah, harvest and process the dye. After having it tested, Pinckney arrives at the plantation with the good news confirming Eliza’s dye is just as good if not better than the French equivalent.

    Overjoyed, Eliza decides that she wants to stay in South Carolina. Pinckney is recently widowed and on her deathbed, his wife told Eliza she wanted her to marry her husband after her death. Eliza asks Pinckney to marry her. He accepts and they stay in South Carolina to grow the indigo dye business. The success of the business ultimately saves the fragile economy of the colonial south.

    About The Author

    Natasha Boyd is a USA Today, internationally bestselling, and award-winning author of contemporary romance, romantic comedy and historical fiction.