In the rural South, a retired colonel in an upscale retirement community grieves the sudden death of his wife on the tennis court. On the other side of the highway, an elderly Black woman grieves the murder of her niece by a white man. Between them lies an abandoned field where three centuries of crimes are hidden, and only she knows the explosive secrets buried there. When the colonel runs into her car, causing a surprising amount of damage, it sparks a feud that sets loose the spirits in the Field, both benevolent and vengeful. In prose that’s been called “dazzling” and “mesmerizing,” in the animated voices of trees and birds and people, in Southern-voiced storytelling as deeply layered as that of Pat Conroy, Marjorie Hudson lays out the boundaries of a field that contains the soul of the South, and leads us to a day of reckoning.
Praise for Indigo Field
Indigo Field brims with multigenerational drama, earthy spirituality, and deeply imagined characters you are unlikely to forget. In tightly compressed, poetic language, Hudson weaves a mesmerizing story of loss, injustice, and revenge conspiring to darken the human heart—and the redemptive and unexpected ways the light comes in.
—Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Invention of Wings, The Book of Longings, and The Secret Life of Bees
Indigo Field gives us genius in the ancient sense of that word—the spirit animating a place. Marjorie Hudson is a spiritual geographer, charting the landscape of a changing Carolina community and its intertwined lives, past and present, Black and white, rich and poor. The ancient pines on Gooley Ridge overlook Indian burials and bank foreclosures, bird and people migrations, secret murders and delayed vengeance, sweet love scenes and brutal assaults. Like Pat Conroy before her, Hudson writes up a mighty storm in this moving and satisfying novel.
—Dale Neal, author of Appalachian Book of the Dead
Marjorie Hudson’s stunning debut novel, Indigo Field, conjures a world anchored in the people and soil of the “land between two rivers” in North Carolina. Like the deep roots of the ancient Gooley Pines know the depths of this soil, only one elder knows the depths and connections of history, love, and tragedy concealed in this blood-soaked abandoned field. Revealed here in lush, evocative prose and unforgettable characters, Hudson’s tale intertwines old dispossessions with new losses, upscale retirees with longtime farmers, Black with white, foolish ignorance with startling revelation. As storytelling peels back each layer of history and memory, and present-time lives are called to acts of vengeance or courage, a wise woman reminds, “There are moments in life in when everything you do makes a difference.” This novel brings a reckoning, now face-to-face, for the unspoken rage of the dispossessed. It is a book of Old Testament wrath and New Testament forgiveness, and the storm that’s coming bears more on its winds than any weather forecast can foresee. A magnificent, magical debut.
—Valerie Nieman, author of In the Lonely Backwater and To the Bones
In so many ways, Marjorie Hudson’s Indigo Field is a transcendent book, a rich and beautiful tapestry, woven with dazzling craft and an artist’s touch. Deep, resonant characters and a powerfully human story lay the truth before us: More than all our differences, we are part of one whole that is both past and present, young and old, living and dead, spirit and fundament, man-made and born in nature. This novel will take you deep and send you soaring. It may be the most definitive novel ever written about North Carolina. But it is more than that; it’s a story for all time.
—Walter Bennett, author of Leaving Tuscaloosa, winner of the Alabama Author’s Award, and The Last Kiss
Indigo Field is a rich tapestry of history and nature, and the many vivid characters who have lived in that place. From life in a contemporary retirement village to long forgotten graves and secrets of prior generations, Marjorie Hudson takes us on a compelling and surprising journey as these unlikely characters come together in moments of shelter and grace.
—Jill McCorkle, author of Hieroglyphics, Life After Life, and Going Away Shoes
Indigo Field showcases one of the rising novelists of the American South. Marjorie Hudson is a master storyteller like Bobbie Ann Mason; her characters come alive and engage the reader. Hudson vividly creates a sense of place with exposition as rich as any of Eudora Welty’s fiction. This novel belongs in classrooms as well as libraries, weaving history, empathy, and spirituality.
—Lenard D. Moore, author of Long Rain and The Geography of Jazz
Indigo Field is an expansive, engrossing saga of lives whose paths cross lines of race, class, and culture. As with the best Southern literature, it stirs up the past to illuminate the present, fills our senses with a richness of place, and makes memory a testament to our existence. Likewise, no story about the South is complete without the forces of nature and avengement in play, as dramatically here. I’ll well remember these vivid characters who prevail with a moving faith in this unforgettable novel.
—Steven Schwartz, author of The Tenderest of Strings