Laurel Maynard, bought up in a world of privilege, in Wellington by her New Zealand European father, Colin.  She is forced to spend the summer in the sticks with her mother Doctor Ana Kingi, who abandoned her as a baby. 

As Laurel is drawn into the fabric of the small town she meets Romeo, a boy taken off the streets of South Auckland by his Uncle, Robert McGregor, Ana’s childhood friend.  She also comes up against Mauki, a tough misunderstood local girl carrying a burden almost impossible to bear.

Together, Laurel and Ana discover how alike they really are.  They unravel the past which kept them apart and uncover a seething pool of secrets, some, with the power to tear families apart.

Heart of the Tapu Stone is a story about connections, not just blood and family. A classic “fish out of water” tale, where city and country and maori and pakeha meet.