Rena by Arora Nikora
Wikitoria, Chief Rawhiti’s beautiful and headstrong daughter, a young Maori girl on the cusp of womanhood, is fascinated by the culture of the local European settlers, with far-reaching consequences for herself and her whānau.
Wikitoria’s kuia, wise and formidable Rena, a tohunga and the chief’s mother, is assigned the challenge of raising her and teaching her their tikanga. Driven by good intentions, Rena soon finds herself and Wikitoria caught up in a web of passion, secrets, heartbreak and danger as events take an unexpected turn.
Set against the lush background of the Taranaki region of the North Island’s West Coast, Rena unfolds during the turbulent period of the mid-19th century, with the country on the brink of war over the fate of the land and its people.
Rich, complex and compelling, Rena is a story of a way of life that is threatened, a love that can never be, and a young woman’s struggle for happiness amid the clash between two vastly different cultures in a rapidly changing world.