Title: First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life
Author: Eve Brown-Waite
Release Date: April 14, 20089
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Travel
Rating: 5 out of 5
From the dust jacket:
Eve Brown always thought she would join the Peace Corps someday, although she secretly worried about life without sushi, frothy coffee drinks and air conditioning. But with college diploma in hand, it was time to put up or shut up. So with some ambivalence she arrives at the Peace Corps office–sporting her best safari chic attire –to casually look into the steps one might take if one were to become a global humanitarian, a la Angelina Jolie. But when Eve meets John, her dashing young Peace Corps recruiter, all her ambivalence flies out the window. She absolutely must join the Peace Corps – and win John’s heart in the process. Off to Ecuador she goes and – after a year in the jungle – back to the States she runs, vowing to stay within easy reach of a decaf cappuccino for the rest of her days.
But life had other plans. Just as she’s getting reacquainted with the joys of toilet paper, John gets a job with CARE and Eve must decide if she’s up for life in another third world outpost. Before you can say, “pass the malaria prophylaxis,” the couple heads off to Uganda, and the fun really begins–if one can call having rats in your toilet fun. Fortunately, in Eve’s case one certainly can, because to her, every experience is an adventure to be embraced and these pages come alive with all of the alternatively poignant and uproarious details. With wit and candor, First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria chronicles Eve’s misadventures as an aspiring do-gooder. From intestinal parasites to getting caught in a civil war, culture clashes to unexpected friendships, here is an honest and laugh-out-loud funny look at the search for love and purpose—from a woman who finds both in the last place she expected.
I first heard about First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria from The Debutante Ball, which is a grog (group blog) for a choice group of debut authors. I’ve always said that the Debs have never let me down; so far, they have introduced me to some amazing authors and incredible reads that I would have otherwise missed. Eve Brown-Waite’s memoir was no exception.
I loved everything about First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria. I adored the beautiful writing and engaging storyline. I loved the personalities described in the book, especially Eve. I enjoyed reading about the amazing experiences and adjustments to life in Ecuador and Ghana. This was one of those books that floored me – every single thing about it was absolutely perfect.
First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria is a non-fiction memoir, but it reads like a novel. I was surprised at how easy it was to read, how quickly the pages went by, and how engaged I was in the storyline. The book never loses its forward momentum; the reader is always interested and incredibly eager to discover what life will throw at Eve next. Eve Brown-Waite’s writing is clear, fluid, and captivating – I was completely charmed by this wonderful read.
Eve herself is a wonderful character who is very easy to sympathize with. The author never tries to hide her motivations or hesitations when it came to her rough lifestyle. She is incredibly easy to trust and wonderfully funny. She is also an inspiration – though Eve Brown-Waite is humble about what she went through, her actions in the face of adversity, hardship, and extreme culture shock are incredible. She manages to adjust to situations that I don’t think I ever could – but reading about her experiences makes me want to try. Eve Brown-Waite makes me feel like each of us is capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for, and can make a difference, no matter how insignificant we feel. Often in First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria, Eve is frustrated by not being able to help those around her. There simply isn’t anything for her to do. But by the end of the book, Eve realizes that she has made a huge difference in the lives of those around her. Sometimes, the small things are what matter – you might not be able to change the world, but you can make a difference in a person’s life.
First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria was quite simply an amazing read. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this book – it was fun, amusing, astonishing, and completely charming. I was hooked from the very first page. This is one of those books that should appeal to anyone and everyone because it has so much contained within its pages. The adventure and excitement, mixed with wonder and sweetness, coupled with the fact that it’s a true story make this an exceptional story that shouldn’t be missed. All I can say to Eve Brown-Waite is: can we get a sequel as soon as possible?
Thank you to Kate at Folio Literary Management for sending me this incredible book to review!