1959. Newcastle nurse Wendy Grey leaves her comfortable life and answers a call from people in Borneo to run a clinic in a place so remote, many there have never before seen a white woman. Until her arrival, medical witchcraft has been the norm. Nevertheless, Wendy quickly gains the trust of the locals, and they begin to flock to her for treatment. And – terrifyingly – when some require emergency surgery, she must also become anaesthetist and surgeon . . . or watch her patients die.
From treacherous journeys on land and water to tea parties with the governor; from tussles with snakes and scorpions to Scrabble with nuns; from struggling with illness to suddenly falling in love – this unique glimpse into contrasting sides of a lost colonial world is possible thanks to Wendy’s detailed diaries, written by the light of an oil lamp in her bamboo and palm-leaf house.
Meanwhile, back home, churches throughout the UK are praying for the young woman in Borneo.