'Buchanan’s skill in interweaving the personal, the historical, and the present together, can teach us all something. What Buchanan’s book offers is the way to construct history, from artefacts, oral stories, waiata, museum archives and hapū memories. Buchanan illustrates a partnership where a descendant of the ploughmen of Parihaka worked with an academic to recover the names of each of the men captured and interred in the South. Such partnerships are now being actively sought as history teachers rise to the challenges of a new history curriculum as we confront the love, ‘terror and anguish as a legacy’ in our local histories'.
– Margaret Joan Stuart, Book review: Ko Taranaki te Maunga, New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 3 July 2021
'Human stories of loss and persistence are the focus of Rachel Buchanan’s beautiful book Ko Taranaki Te Maunga. In this book, Buchanan faces her mountain. She turns her attention to the many painful reasons why the most important stories about Taranaki are hard to come by and hard to hear. She wonders if the nine Parihaka apologies offered by the Crown to Taranaki iwi do much justice, and whether the latest apology, just now enacted in the Te Pire Haeata ki Parihaka/Parihaka Reconciliation Bill 2019, succeeds in its efforts to improve on the others. She laces the stories of Taranaki together with those of her family and ancestors.'
– Kirsty Gover, Meanjin Vol 79 No1, 17 March 2020.
'Unlike so many other published works written about Parihaka and Taranaki, Buchanan presents an indigenous perspective (which unfortunately is rare) that goes against the personal detachment so often associated with historical scholarship. The writing is interfused with personal narratives. A personal story is being told, one that enables readers to feel an emotional connection with events and hopefully gain a deeper understanding of the traumas experienced in Taranaki and Parihaka.'
– Katrina Tamaira, Archives and Manuscripts, 22 March 2020.
'She laces the stories of Taranaki together with those of her family and ancestors, and the result is an intricate and generous work that is unexpectedly moving.'
– Kirsty Gover, Arena magazine, Issue 163, December 2019.
'A captivating, reflective history weaving personal and political observations with a lived experience.... It is a work equally creative and powerful. The book brings an important new perspective on Parihaka...',
– Judges' report, 2019 W.H. Oliver Prize (Best Book) on New Zealand’s history (finalist).
'It is an intensely personal account that wrestles with [the author's] own identity ... it manages to pack a lot into its six short chapters.'
– Lachy Paterson, Australian Historical Studies, 50:4, 536-537, November 2019.
'This is a small gem of a book, insightful and thought-provoking for anyone who is interested in the ongoing impacts of archives, records, recordkeeping, record creators and keepers.'
– Belinda Battley, Archifacts Journal, May 2019.
'A thoughtful and intimate book that may send readers to other sources dealing with the full history and long-term effects of colonisation that are still with us today, and evident in the reluctance of some non-Māori to accept that there are good historical reasons why Māori continue to suffer under the fallout from history.'
– Gerry Te Kapa Coates, Landfall, 1 March 2019.
'A whakapapa-memoir which uncovers fresh layers of the old and emblematic story of Parihaka being violently and lengthily smashed by the colony, and tells a moving and elegant tale of Buchanan’s findings on her family and Parihaka. A tiny wee book, but it delivers like an 800-pager.'
– The Spinoff, 12 December 2018.
'In this short but powerful text, Rachel Buchanan uses the tools of an archivist to scale what she calls the paper mountain – the records and documents surrounding the events at Parihaka – to give new meaning to the echoes of invasion that still sound throughout Taranaki.'
– Paul Moenboyd, BooksellersNZ, 29 October 2018.
'A very powerful amalgamation of personal memoir and history. So, we don’t get this level very often. I think this is really very up-there....It’s a dream to read....It’s a personal story but it’s of national interest.'
– Tilly Lloyd, RNZ, 12 October 2018.