This book would not exist without the inspiration and support of the following people.  First and most gigantic thanks to Norm Heke, Digital Artist for the photography and digital design of the cover. Thanks to Marianne Webb for the graphic design of the cover.

Thank you Whitireia New Zealand Creative Writing with special thanks to Mandy Hager, Adrienne Jensen and Norman Bilbrough for their honesty and encouragement in the writing of this novel. Also, a big thanks to my writing class of 2010 who critiqued parts of this book as I wrote it.

Thanks to my writing group Maria Samuela, Kathy Taylor and Kate Simpkins who encouraged and helped me. Thanks to Huia Publishing for giving me Alia Bloom in 2011 as a writing mentor for six months.

Thanks to Jenny Brownlee and Lesley Marshall who edited this book.

Thank to Ata McGregor for proof reading the final edit.

Thanks to Ranginui Walker for his book Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou - Struggle Without End, Penguin, Auckland, 1990. Thanks to Darcy Nicholas for his writings on Whakapapa.

Thanks to my father Hoani te Rangi Kangaiho McGregor for your story ‘The River’ that inspired this book. Thanks to the matakite in my life, my mother Wai Turoa-Morgan. Thanks to Aunty Bea and Uncle Bill for encouraging me into tertiary education and supporting me all the way through.

Thanks to my daughter Jenna-Rose Astwood, my nieces Terina Ah Far, Jade and Amber McGregor who inspired Laurel by being feisty, beautiful and brilliant. Also thanks to Jenna-Rose for her help with the glossary.

Thanks to my son Nathan Astwood, my brother James McGregor and my cousin Robert McGregor who inspired the character of Robert by being quiet, strong and gentle.

Thanks to my son Tamati Thornton, for all his help with dialogue and male characterisation. Thanks to my daughter Megan Darling without whom I wouldn’t have any stories. Thanks to my sister Lynda who helped make the publishing of this book a reality.

A massive thank you to my brother Hone McGregor and my cousin Nina McGregor for their constant support of my Art, I could not have done this without them.

The biggest most enormous thanks goes to Scott Giles who loves me, looks after me and tells me I’m fabulous.