Wow. Sorry to say but this is probably the first Ms. Beverly Jenkins book I have read that I struggled with. I think it’s just because this one is packed with too much stuff. We have Hester helping the Underground Railroad. We have Hester dealing with her former fiancée and his now wife. We have Hester dealing with the attentions of slave catcher. And that’s before you add in all of the Galen stuff. This book could have easily been broken into a duology with no sweat. I also didn’t really feel/like Galen for a good portion of this book. It took a while for me to warm up to him. Per usual though, the historical aspects of this romance novel are very well done. I do have to say that I called BS on one character being able to get away scot free for what they did though. That whole thing left a bad taste. And I will say that the ending just didn’t read as realistic at all. I really wish that Ms. Jenkins had not gone that way. It just seemed like she wanted this book to have a happy ending and I went, really? Okay.
“Indigo” follows Hester Wyatt, a conductor on the Underground Railroad. One night, one of her fellow abolitionists brings slaves to her home to hide along with a Black man called Black Daniel. He’s become famous on the Underground Railroad and many slave catchers are hoping to find him. As Hester hides the man, she finds out his real name is Galen. And she also starts to think about him in a romantic way. Galen also starts to think about Hester. With the slave catchers nearby though they have to be careful. When Galen eventually leaves to return to his home in New Orleans though it seems that there is a traitor in their midst and somehow men are being captured along with some women. Along with this though is the community being interested in what is happening between Galen/Hester as well as so many other things (see above).
I don’t know. I liked Hester alright, I hated that Galen decided he was going to just call her Indigo and ignore the whole that’s not her name thing. I get it was supposed to be sexy and whatnot but I got really annoyed while reading. I did find it interesting though that Hester had to hide her hands because they would have marked her as a former slave. Once again, the historical parts of this book make up for the lackluster romance.
There are so many people in this one as well though that it made things hard. We have Hester’s former fiancée, his mess of a wife, members of the community, Galen’s family and friends, etc. I thought I was just never going to get to the ending. Galen’s whole story-line and his grandmother and how things were being handled in New Orleans among those who were lighter skinned was interesting to read about. But I thought that whole thing was almost a separate book at times.
“Indigo” takes place in Michigan during the late 1850s. I really feel dumb because I had no idea the Underground Railroad had locations set up in that state. It makes sense though when you realize that many former slaves were using that state as a way to cross over into Canada. It now also has me curious about the former slave population of Canada and whether I can find any books about this. We also get some historical events in this such as John Brown’s storming of Harper’s Ferry and the subsequent trial and execution.
The ending didn’t work and only because there was a coincidence on top of another one to even have it make sense.