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Along the Indigo

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  137 ratings  ·  54 reviews
The town of Glory is famous for two things: businesses that front for seedy, if not illegal, enterprises and the suicides that happen along the Indigo River. Marsden is desperate to escape the “bed-and-breakfast” where her mother works as a prostitute—and where her own fate has been decided—and she wants to give her little sister a better life. But escape means money, whic ...more
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published March 20th 2018 by Harry N. Abrams
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Average rating 3.45  · 
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 ·  137 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, ABRAMS Kids, via NetGalley for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Teen, Fiction


Hookers, suicide, and skimming…oh my!

Along the Indigo: A tale so doused in grittiness, it almost feels lighthearted.

A book set in present times with a town that feels stuck in the 1800’s. There is romance, there is death, and you can bet your bottom dollar there is a whole lot of detail just DRIPPING in “oh yikes”. It might just be the most depressing book that
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

This is another book with some elements that were definitely hits, and some that weren't. This one also deals with a young woman who is searching to uncover some answers about her town's past (and her family's past!) all while trying to protect her little sister and not become a "working girl".

Some Things I Liked:

Marsden and her sister Wynn have such a lovely bond. Seriously, I a
Nikole Clow
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Technically 2.5 stars.

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I hate leaving bad reviews, and this review is not necessarily bad, it’s just not good either. I loved Elsie Chapman’s previous novels, Dualed and Divided, so I was a little upset that I did not enjoy Along the Indigo. I tried, I really did, but it was just not working. And the thing is, I feel like it was not because the story was bad or there was no character development (because there
K.S. Marsden
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Marsden wants nothing more than to escape the small town of Glory, with all its ghosts, and dead-end future. Until she meets the brother of a suicide victim, and starts to ask the right questions.

I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was initially drawn to this because the main character is a girl called Marsden, something I've never come across before; and because it sounded intriguing.

I think I was expecting a mystery, with teenage kids solving murders, etc.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it

atmospheric and gut wrenching but also a bit slow

I have issues with the unnuanced way sex workers were portrayed tbh.
Farhina ↯↯ The Wanderer Of Inked Adventures
"I think we forget for a reason. If you remembered every single bad thing that ever happened to you, you'd never stop being sad"

This book has some dark and mature themes. Brothels, prostitute and suicide being the most dominant ones. It also talks about racism. So you will have to be a little beware going into this one.

The story is about Marsden, who is sixteen and lives in a town called Glory. The town is a whole lot of shady. With several illegal business and also questionable police officer
K.A. Wiggins
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, canadian
Disclaimer: Reviewing pre-publication proof via NetGalley

I loved this. Vivid, strong character writing and a fully fleshed-out sense of place from the first page made this an engaging story, and the dark fantasy/paranormal elements, while light, tinted the story with a deliciously creepy atmosphere.

Marsden is saving up to skip town with her 8-year-old little sister before one or both of them get roped into joining Nina's girls like their mom. Their dad died (or killed himself) when she was her s
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Disclaimer: An ARC was provided via Abrams YA Books and the Author as part of the Blog Tour. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are however my own.

“We forget for a reason. If you remembered every single bad thing that ever happened to you, you’d never stop being sad.”

The blurb of this book gave a kick to the gut when I first heard about the book – and as I have come to experience; my gut is never wrong. And reading this book was nothing short of a bigger kick to t
Brittany Landrum
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent plot twist! I wanted more!
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Sadly, one-note characters and a predictable plot meant this book wasn't as wonderful as it could have been. There was promise in the setting - a town in a bend in the river, with a haunted plot where people commit suicide - but somehow it just never blooms the way it could. Marsden's life held no surprises, nor did her friendship with Jude or their discovering what Jude's brother buried in the "covert" (shades of Billie Joe McAllister?). Sigh. More atmosphere and fewer surprises would have work ...more
Katie Carroll
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, mystery
Marsden and her young sister are stuck living at the inn/brothel where their mother works. It's next to the infamous property owned by Mardsen's family, cursed by the evil actions of her ancestor and now a place where people come to commit suicide. And where Marsden skims the dead bodies for money. It's a shameful act, but one she does in hopes for a better life for her sister, because they need money if they ever want to get out of the town of Glory. Jude finds his way to Marsden's land to try ...more
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
ALONG THE INDIGO by Elsie Chapman looks into the life of Marsden, the daughter of a prostitute living in a bleak town famous for suicides and criminal activity. Faced with the nonexistent prospects for a bright future in the ironically named town of Glory, the novel opens with Marsden in the process of saving up funds for her and her younger sister, Wynn, to move away. Marsden’s carefully measured life begins to fall apart when her mom’s boss, Nina, begins pressuring Marsden to become a prostitu ...more
This book was not what I expectd. I guess I vaguely skimmed the synopsis when it came out, then placed a hold on it and got it some weeks later, then didn't read it, then waited weeks more for my hold to come through and finaaaaaallly read it a few weeks ago. Anyway, it turns out that it is not a high fantasy about an innkeepers daughter (which is good because I'm going to write that book) but instead an urban not-quite-fantasy about a girl living in a small town that shw wants to leave.
And may
Johnny (Aurora Sights)
I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

'Along The Indigo' by Elsie Chapman is a thought provoking beauty.

Synopsis: Marsden lives in a town called Glory. She lives with her younger sister in a whore house that fronts as a B&B. With their mother being one of the girls, Marsden has learnt to keep them away from the darkness of the future. To add to that bleak reality, the covert on their land is a place people go to die. To keep her sisters innocence
A Million Books
Actual Rating 2.5 Stars


I received an ARC from Amulet Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

I AM HONESTLY SO CONFUSED ABOUT HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS BOOK BECAUSE IT HAD SO MANY DIFFERENT and CONFLICTING elements and I’m still unsure as to whether I even liked it or not.

Along The Indigo contained:

- A brothel where the MC’s mother “works”
- A “covert” (literally never heard this word in my life before this
American Mensa
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Along the Indigo by Elsie Chapman is a haunting standalone story of about 400 pages/47 chapters. The book is for a more mature audience, with prostitution being a large part of the story. The book’s main character is Marsden Eldridge, a sixteen year old girl with too much to hide and too much to lose.

In the town of Glory, seedy businesses thrive—gambling houses, pharmacies that sell illegal drugs, and the Boardinghouse, the town’s inn that doubled as a brothel. Marsden has lived at the Boardin
Shannon Matheny
Mar 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Marsden is a teenage girl living with her young sister and prostitute mother at a "bed and breakfast" in the small town of Glory. Technically, Mars' family owns the place, but due to some large debts left from her late father her mother has an old friend who bailed her out and now she's "working" it off. Mars wants nothing more than to save up enough money, grab her sister up, and high tail it out of there. To get the money, Mars "skims" money off the dead bodies she finds along the Indigo River ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

Along the Indigo by Elsie Chapman, 383 pages. Amulet Books, 2018. $18

Language: PG-13(27 swears, 0 “f”); Content: PG (sexual innuendo); Violence: PG-13 (Suicides, murder, and talk of how each murder/suicide was done)



Marsden's family inherited the covert (a piece of land by the Indigo River that is cursed) a place where many towns people go to commit suicide. Marsden scans the covert daily for bodies so she can steal the money off of the bodie
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I bought this book from a major discount store and was instantly intrigued by the name, the synopsis, and the cover (I know...never judge a book by it's cover but sometimes...). I admit, it was very slow to start off, even where I felt forced to dredge on through the novel. Over halfway through and I just wanted to make it to the end so I could complete it. It finally started to pick up speed towards the end. It was like the whole book was waiting on this moment, for the characters to realize wh ...more
Leonie Byrne
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you Netgalley, Elsie Chapman and the publisher for my ARC of Along the Indigo. 
Marsden lives in a small town called Glory, in America. Her whole life has seen her ostracised from the rest of the town, thanks to her Asian heritage, her father's accidental death which everyone thinks was suicide, her family's ownership of a piece of land called the Covert where people go to die, and the fact her mother is a prostitute at Nina's Boarding House. Marsden is desperate to escape, taking her litt ...more
Price Girls
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Along the Indigo is not a thrilling read, nor is it heart pounding, rather its a novel that slowly builds like the heat of a lazy summer day until you are wrapped in it, and once it is finished you are left with the impression of satisfaction and the warmth that comes of knowing you just read a really great book. Like the ginger that the people of Glory just came to associate with the covert, Mars harsh reality filled with prostitution and suicide became something she associated with normalcy, a ...more
Katie B
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Marsden longs for the day when she finally has enough money to escape the town of Glory with her little sister, Wynn. She wants nothing more than to give her sister a better life than growing up at a "bed and breakfast" where her mother works as a prostitute. There is a high rate of suicide along the Indigo River , and Marsden resorts to skimming money off the dead bodies in order to leave Glory before her sister finally realizes what their mother does for a living. Jude is a classmate
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, gifted, arc-proof
What an interesting story!

The plot of this book is what got me intrigued. I needed to know more about the suicides and why they happen and about our main character. She wants a better life, she knows her mother is just trying to provide for her and her little sister but, that isn't the life she wants. Mars needs money, she needs it fast to give her little sister the life she deserves, a life away from this town, it's shady business and the very high amount of dead bodies.

Mars had to grow up qui
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: issues
*This ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

I feel like this book took a while to get started. It seemed like the main character kept repeating how terrible their town was, that suicides happened frequently, and that she wanted to keep her sister innocent. It got old really fast and I just wanted something to happen else to take place in the book so that it would stop. This book was more of a slow burn so the things that I just mentioned do continue thr
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I picked up this book because it seemed like an atmospheric mystery featuring a protagonist of color. It definitely fulfills both of those promises, and Elsie Chapman is an accomplished writer. Her control over the prose, plot, and characters is evident.

I liked Marsden as a determined, fiercely loyal protagonist. We have a Katniss-Rue dynamic between her and her little sister, with Marsden st
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-suicide
Bleak. Bleak. Bleak. This book is SO bleak. Unrelentingly dark and gloomy and, ugh, just awful. Couldn't it be awful enough that your mother is a prostitute and you are forced to work in the brothel where she works? No, you have to be actively recruited and pressured by your own mother to prostitute yourself as well, and you have to fear every day that your little sister is next. Couldn't it be bad enough that your back yard is where every depressed person in a 300 mile radius comes to kill them ...more
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
amazing book. i'm surprised this doesn't have more reviews on it but i can see it gaining popularity once people realize it's a gem.
beautiful, atmospheric writing for a story that just sucks you in and characters you feel deeply about as it progresses
one of the reviews on the back says it's both heartwarming and heart-wrenching, which is really quite a feat and perfectly describes this book!!!!
i can't even put into words how much i loved it!!
marsden so strong and secretive, wynn so endearing and
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is totally unlike any other I've read. It had amazing atmosphere and such descriptive prose. I could almost smell the wild ginger of the covert or the low tide muck of the Indigo river. Marden's feelings of being trapped in the boardinghouse and that life felt palpable. I found the characters to be enjoyable, especially Jude and Marsden. They both had baggage and trauma which they bonded over but not in an unhealthy way. The first half of the book was very slow paced but once things st ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Along the Indigo balances a mixture of intrigue, suspense, and romance on a knife's-edge of a great story. Not an easy task for anyone, but especially a first-time author. The eastern Washington town of Glory comes alive under Chapman's vivid description. There are times you can feel the cool green respite of the covert, smell wild ginger, taste the hot riverbed dust inside your mouth. My only complaint is I'd have wished for a bit less book around the central story. At times I felt as if the e ...more
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Elsie Chapman grew up in Prince George, Canada, and has a degree in English literature from the University of British Columbia. She is the author of the YA novels Dualed, Divided, Along the Indigo, and Caster as well as the MG novel All the Ways Ho

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Caroline Tung Richmond is an award-winning YA author and the program director of We Need Diverse Books. Run by authors, librarians, teac...
99 likes · 15 comments
“I think we forget for a reason. If you remembered every single bad thing that ever happened to you, you'd never stop being sad.” 1 likes
“We speak now only in echoes, in traces of what once was - ash and dust and salt, from blood and bone and tears. And you hear us now because you've let us go.” 0 likes
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