First comes laughter, then comes the message.

Eve Brown-Waite’s memoir, FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA, is one of those books that makes you a better person. But shh! Don’t tell. Because reading it doesn’t feel like reading a good-for-you, “we are the world” treatise. It feels more like reading a collection of Dave Barry columns. Eve’s voice is funny, self-deprecating, and honest, but the book itself is more than just those things–and that’s saying a lot.

It’s the kind of book that makes you feel like you know and understand a group of people whom you’ll probably never meet, living in a place you’ll probably never visit, carrying on a lifestyle you’ll probably never experience. But by the end of the book, you get that these people are humans, more or less just like you and I.

Maybe I’m being overly simplistic, but I tend to think that the more chances we have to figure out that other people in other places are actually a lot like us–with their pride, their friendships, their dignity, their intelligence, their odd habits, their social quirks that don’t make much sense from the outside–the more we grow as a species.

Eve probably didn’t know, when she was living out her Peace Corps and Ugandan adventures, that she’d be writing a book about them some day. And that’s where the brilliance of her story lies. Because you can’t beat someone over the head with a message and expect them to take to it. You have to cajole them–tell them a good story, put in some funny jokes. Add pink pants and stir… and sometimes take off pink pants… well, you’d better read the book.

Kudos, Eve! Congratulations on your wonderful debut.

Fondly,
Katie Alender

p.s. Don’t forget! In celebration of Deb Eve’s launch, everyone who comments this week will automatically be entered to win (one entry per person, but you can comment as often as you like. Eve loves to read email. And we’re lonely.) At the end of the week one commenter will be chosen at random to win a signed copy of Eve’s book and a love note from the rest of us.

12 thoughts on “First comes laughter, then comes the message.

  1. Awww…. Katie, now I’m fahklempt! Yeah, that’s totally how I feel about us growing as a species by just getting to know and understand different people and yes, I think that’s what I was trying to do, amid the Dave Barry type humor (and btw, I LOVE Dave Barry).

    Thanks so much. And now I’ve got to go run to the bookstore!

  2. No – their shipment didn’t arrive. I ran out to lend them my box of books until they get theirs. And did my first stock signing. What fun!

  3. I love reading everyone’s reviews of the book. What fun! Have a terrific launch this week, Eve–I can’t wait to actually get to meet you in May when you’re in New York…

  4. Ah … the pink pants! On and off – not my proudest moment. But then again, maybe it was! You’ve just got to read the book to find out about the pink pants!

    Yes, it IS a happy day indeed.

  5. How can any mention of pink pants, let alone taking off pink pants, NOT be intriguing? Best of luck with your book, and I can’t wait to read it!

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