The Unforgiving Tides


Ross Pennie


““Pennie’s descriptions are vivid, his characters alive. You feel as though you are by his side as he negotiates with the Catholic nursing sisters, comforts mothers camped out with their entire families beneath their children’s hospital beds, and wrestles with self-doubt …”

- Primrose Ketchum, Canadian Family Physician magazine


“A born storyteller, Pennie deftly transports the reader to the South Pacific where the young doctor receives a harsh initiation into the world of medicine.”

- Cathy Vasas-Brown, author, Every Wickedness and Some Reason in Madness

Title: The Unforgiving Tides / Ross Pennie / 240 pages
Softcover ISBN 9781988058702 $19.95 US / CDN
Hardcover ISBN 9781988058719 $39.95 US / CDN
Non-Fiction: Biography / true adventure story
Available via Ingram / Gazelle / other distributors



“…captivating adventures… humorous”

- The Toronto Sun


“…powerful writing… deeply touching.”

- Brian Henry, Ryerson University



The Unforgiving Tides tells Dr. Ross Pennie’s true adventures as a medical volunteer on a remote South Pacific island. At age 25, fresh out of medical school, Pennie arrives in Papua New Guinea to find tribal magic, jungles, muddy terrain and the ire of Sister Pirmina. Soon the good Dokta is facing crisis after crisis.


Pennie writes in an engaging style reminiscent of James Herriot – except Pennie examines the most intriguing creatures of all: fellow humans on a remote, exotic island. Pennie is a professor at McMaster University, Hamilton, and a practising physician at Brant Community Health System. He’s also a nationally renowned expert specialist in the treatment of infectious diseases.


Audience: General audience and of added interest to New Age sector due to author’s encounters with tribal magic. It’s a terrific tale of triumph over adversity, including an appendectomy during an earthquake, the amputation of a woman’s leg with a hacksaw, transforming the hospital into a tavern to treat alcohol poisoning victims, and much more.