Where the Rekohu Bone Sings by Tina Makereti

Where the Rekohu Bone Sings

From the Chatham Islands/Rekohu to London, the 21st century to 1835, this novel confronts the complexity of being Moriori, Maori and Pakeha.In the 1880s, Mere yearns for independence. Her best friend Iraia wants the same, but as the descendent of a slave, such things are barely conceivable to him. One summer as they approach adulthood, they notice that their friendship has changed, and that, if they are ever to experience freedom, they will need ...

Details Where the Rekohu Bone Sings

TitleWhere the Rekohu Bone Sings
Release DateMar 7th, 2014
PublisherRHNZ Vintage
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Literature, 19th Century

Reviews Where the Rekohu Bone Sings

  • Kathleen Dixon
    It's not so long ago that Western countries outlawed slavery, and it still exists in some countries that consider themselves civilised. So it's hardly surprising that slavery was a custom of pre-European Maori. After the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 with the British government, slavery was banned, but custom would have prevailed for many years. Anyway, it was in 1835 that Taranaki Maori invaded Rekohu (now known as the Chatham Islands) w...
  • Penguin Books NZ
    (Rachel) Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings had me enthralled from the first page, and has stayed with me since I finished it. On one level, this is a gripping novel of family history and the lies that can travel through generations, but at the same time it’s an exploration of what it means to be Pakeha, Maori or Moriori in New Zealand.I knew very little about Moriori or the Chatham Islands’ history before I read this novel, but Makeriti weaves the...
  • Angela Oliver
    This is a powerful historic novel, spanning two generations separated by over a century but connected by the threads of the ancestors that flow through their veins. It is a story of identity and of mixed heritage. It is immersive, and lyrically written, with an eloquence to the prose that keeps the reader truly engaged.The first thread follows Mere, a young Maori woman of reasonable wealth in the 1880s. She follows her heart into making a somewha...
  • CJ
    This book is a must read for any New Zealander who wants to understand race relationships and struggles in a historical context and how these impact descendants of mixed race. I learnt so much and gained a much deeper appreciation. Set in my home towns of Queen Charlotte Sound/Picton and Wellington. And then Rekohu/Chatham Islands - which I am planning to visit some day. Covering both historic and current day settings. This is an outstanding firs...
  • Bronwen Jones
    I got this from the library and loved it so much I bought my own paperback copy. So full of information on a part of our history that few (including me) have any idea about, and yet also Where the Rekohu Bone Sings has a good fictional plot, and convincing characters and story. Love the identity theme too. I learned a lot and very much enjoyed the read. Highly recommended.
  • Trina
    Beautiful, lyrical novel about a dark piece of New Zealand's history.
  • LadyDisdain
    The books you love the most are often the hardest to review. That's always been the case. Or the curse. To say I loved this book feels like an incredible understatement. It has stayed, pulsating, in the back of my mind days after I turned the last page. My thoughts constantly wander back to it, and I am left a little winded by the emotion of the story that overwhelms me each time.Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings has three main narratives running thro...
  • Michelle
    A beautifully written, thought provoking novel that stayed with me long after finishing. Three separate but interconnected stories run through the book. Mere is a teenage girl from a well to do Maori family living in Queen Charlotte Sound in the 1880s. Living with the family is Iraia, a slave. When Mere and Iraia fall in love, they realise that they cannot be together and stay in the Sounds. Mere and Iraia's story is simply told, using a straight...
  • Alumine Andrew
    This is a thoroughly New Zealand story. Told in various voices this story explores the difficulties of growing up part Maori, part Pakeha and part Moriori. These three cultures were all in conflict with each other in the 1880's which is where part of the story is set. Then it jumps a few generations to the present where descendants of mixed race, Lula and Bigs, are trying to come to terms with the actions of their violent forefathers.Some of the ...
  • Philippa
    I enjoyed this novel with its three strands of story, from the present to two past eras: the 1835 invasion of Rekohu (Chatham Islands), a later colonial era, and the present day. After the death of Lula's mother Tui, a few family secrets come out at the funeral, and Lula goes in search of her Moriori past. The three stories are well woven together, and the writing is very readable. The Moriori ancestor ghost offers poetry, spirit, and the ability...
  • Jane Bulnes-Fowles
    Thoroughly enjoyed this book - though I do have to say I read it while in New Zealand. It may be that if I wasn't there I might have been less enthused, and perhaps more frustrated by the frequent Maori words thrown in without definition leaving the reader with only context to discern the meaning. But if a historical novel, not set in the U.S. or UK as too many are, interests you, or New Zealand or Maori context interests you, then this is a grea...
  • Karen
    A beautifully constructed story, three threads woven carefully between generations,and between worlds. The history of the Moriori & ngati Mutanga and present day Chathams is something I really didn't know about before reading Makereti's novel, but realise now that it is a significant part of our history in Aotearoa. I'm eagerly awaiting her second novel, whenever that will be.
  • Kelvin
    Beautiful, beautiful sad, deep and and moving book. The story delicately explores issues of identity for our hybrid Moriori, Māori and Pākehā cultures. It is a lovely almost-coming-of-age tale that rewrote parts of my 1980's education.Fantastic book.
  • Susan Dominikovich
    This is a beautiful and important book especially from an historical New Zealand perspective. Makereti's characterisation is wonderful and her attention to setting impeccable. Most importantly it's a story about belonging and roots, a theme she deals with thoughtfully and sensitively.
  • Kathryn
    This one feels like a story I've been waiting for for a long time. To have such brutal and in other cases thoughtlessly imposed cultural change covered off so matter-of-factly, alongside a gentle exploration of family relationships through and over time was really very rewarding.
  • Crazytourists_books
    A wonderfully written book, a compelling story.If only the dictionary at the end of the book was longer, explaining all the Moriori and Maori words...
  • Lisa
    Where the Rekohu Bone Sings is an impressive debut by New Zealand author Tina Makereti. It won the 2014 Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Awards Fiction Prize and was longlisted for the Dublin Literary Prize. It was a New Zealand best seller in the year of its release too…It tells a story that I suspect is little known on our side of the ditch. According to Wikipedia, the Moriori People of the Chatham Islands were once thought to have been pre-Māori set...
  • Emma Zuroski
    I read about this book when I was back in New Zealand in April and was excited to read it. The basic plot is intriguing and the first few chapters set up a fascinating web of narratives that one hopes would be unspun over the course of the book. Lula and Bigs are NZ twins born in the late 20th century; one looks Maori and the other white. This phenomenon is ostensibly the central mystery (to us the reader and to the characters themselves) that is...
  • Lisa Matthews
    I really wanted to love this book as I have recently returned from my first trip to New Zealand and was enamoured by the country as well as its Maori culture, and was interested to learn more about the Moriori culture, which I knew nothing about. This aspect of the novel, I enjoyed, but I wanted more. While a commendable first novel, I felt that the characters were not fully realised or developed enough for me to be able to really engage with the...
  • Linda
    The story spans a few generations on the Chatham Islands in New Zealand. Mere, a Maori girl, falls in love with Iraia, son of a Moriori slave. They run away together. Morioris were slaughtered and enslaved by Maoris in the 1830s. Iraia gets ill and dies shortly after they ran away. Mere returns pregnant and heartbroken.Generations later Lula questions her identity. She looks Pakeha (white) while her twin brother, Bigs looks Maori. After their mot...
  • Michelle Boyer
    Wow. That was my first thought when I finished reading this novel. The impact will stay with you for quite some time. I've been sitting here for hours thinking 'wow.' The novel discusses the intersections of being Maori, Pakeha, and the lesser known Moriori. The Moriori underwent a genocide by the Maori in the 1800s because of their peaceful tendencies--and this is probably something that you have not read about before. The story revolves around ...
  • Cheryl Brown
    I did find this book moving and also heartbreaking as well as heart warming.And therein perhaps lies my reluctance to give 5 stars. I found the voice of the tupuna (I'm sorry I've lost his name) a bit annoying although I could see his purpose. The story of Moriori needs to be told more and this is a moving account of loss. The tension between the twins and the decisions about which culture to identify with is convincing. I liked the interventions...
  • Marie Greaney
    Magnificent. I’d give it 10-stars if I could.
  • Alexandra Robinson
    "Set in From the Chatham Islands/Rekohu to London, the 21st century to 1835, this novel confronts the complexity of being Moriori, Maori and Pakeha"A young couple, a Maori girl and the family slave elope together to Wellington from Queen Charlotte Sound.Told through the eyes of their descendants, a twin boy and girl.Didn't enjoy the mystic stuff! Good to read a NZ novel
  • Kate
    A wonderful, thought-provoking book, which covers not only a portion of our history that isn't much discussed, but also discusses some of the tensions of having multiple ancestral identities. I found the first part somewhat slow to get going, but then read the second half in pretty much one sitting. Highly recommended.
  • Megan Owens
    Reading this book was like a spiritual experience. The author beautifully stitches together the voices of the past with the people of the present. I learned so much about NZ history and the Mori Ori's in particular. The character development was rich and engrossing. A very good read.
  • Danya Anderson
    I picked it up at the library while waiting for something and ended up checking it out, a good read from the beginning. I learned some valuable history that hadn't been taught in school, at least not in the 80's.
  • Sheila Pritchard
    An excellent insight into the story of the Moriori and the Chatham Islands. I was totally ignorant of that part of NZ history. The novel itself is a delightful read showing the inter-relationships of families and cultures over many generations.
  • Peter Lineham
    Very dominated by the Michael King interpretation and how Maori should respond to this. The alternation of multiple periods meant that filling in the gaps felt a bit like a guessing game. Still there were nice characterizations of each of the periods
  • Margaret
    Interesting. A story of little known events, told in a compelling way