In Praise of First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria by Deb Meredith

brownwaite_smallFirst Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria is the story of a woman who searches for love, and finds adventure and a new career in the process. It is a memoir and a love story, but it’s also the story of a woman who finds her true calling after joining the Peace Corps and traveling to Ecuador and Uganda.

Eve Brown-Waite’s personality springs from every page of the book. She is the life of the party, and that friend that is always willing to go along with crazy schemes (and cooks up a few of her own). She makes friends easily, and becomes emotionally attached to those around her. She is always hardest on herself. She claims to be the one who whines and complains, but somehow that just makes her more sympathetic. She’s willing to take the blame, and doesn’t try to push it off on someone else who is making her miserable.

I was happy to see that Eve’s mom was included in the story as well. She is a loyal contributor to our comments section of the Debutante Ball, and our official “Deb Mom.” So it was fun to see her through Eve’s eyes in the book.

I really enjoyed seeing Eve transform into a writer in the book. The first two things a writer needs are space and time, and being a housewife in the third world (with lots of household help) gave Eve what she needed to write. It also gave her stories. Lots and lots of stories. Probably enough stories to fill a dozen books (we hope).

I never joined the Peace Corps, or hid from rebels, or taught AIDS education. But Eve has. And that makes her pretty darn adventurous and brave in my mind. Eve’s book made me want to volunteer more and try to do more good in the world. It did not, however, make me want to visit a war torn country or eat a termite, though. I think I’ll save my adventurous spirit for Eve’s further adventures. Keep ‘em coming, Eve!

And don’t forget to enter our contest this week in celebration of the launch of FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA! Everyone who comments this week will automatically be entered to win (one entry per person, but you can comment as often as you like.) At the end of the week one commenter will be chosen at random to win a signed copy of Eve’s book and a note from the rest of us.

13 Replies to “In Praise of First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria by Deb Meredith”

  1. Rebbie–so glad you stopped by! It’s a great read, and I’m sure it’ll help you with your research. Eve does an amazing job describing Uganda–both the land and the people.

  2. Rebbie – c’mon…. I’ll take you on a research trip to Africa! It’ll be a hoot! I promise.

    Meredith – thank you for your sweet words. Only Wednesday and what a week!

  3. You know, though I’m in awe of Eve (not to mention St. John) and their bravery, another thing about this book is she also makes us believe that any of us COULD actually manage to survive, even thrive, in a developing country. And though I will likely never cook a gourmet dinner in the bush, I probably can write this second novel after all, and even make it sing, as long as I bring Eve’s Africa Attitude to the task (which is a blend of optimism, determination, and self-deprecating humor).

  4. I love that, Kris–Eve’s Africa Attitude. It was pretty amazing how she describe something so casually that she’d done (like create a gourmet meal). It had to have been really hard–but with Eve’s Africa Attitude… A piece of cake!

    I hope you’re having a great week, and enjoying having the book celebrated by your nearest and dearest.

  5. I look forward to reading Eve’s book! I spent a year each in Mali and Burkina Faso, and wrote a memoir about the second trip – A Year in Ougadougou – but never finished editing it to get it out for publication. It’s a great place to live (for a while…).


  6. Thanks all! Edith! St. John was in Burkina Faso and a really famous line from the book (at least to me anyway) is “When I was in Ougadougou during the coup …” You should finish that book!

    Yes, the Africa Attitude … even I have to try to remember that sometimes. It does help.

    Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and for stopping by to comment.

    And yes …. my mom IS that pushy!!!!

  7. My copy was delivered yesterday, debut day! Now to find the time — away from here — to experience Eve’s adventures.

    And to Eve’s Mom, thank you for stopping by my blog.

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