Midwife of Borneo: The True Story of a Geordie Pioneer

Barbara Fox / Fiction

Book cover

UK Publisher

SPCK Publishing

Date Published

November 15th, 2018

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.


Call the Midwife compellingly transposed from
the East End of London to the Borneo rainforest

- Lynne Tembey, Mothers' Union Worldwide President

A heart-warming adventure . . . a spellbinding narrative . . . a step into another world

- Mark Beaumont, adventurer, author and broadcaster

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