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First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life Hardcover – April 14, 2009

73 customer reviews

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More from First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria

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Arua neighbors gather for John and Eve's farewell party
CARE's headquarters in Arua, Uganda
Eve, John, and Sierra going on safari in Kenya
Eve, John, and Sierra on safari at the Nile River in Uganda
Typical northwest Ugandan houses



From Booklist

College graduate Eve is looking for a meaningful endeavor and settles on the Peace Corps. Though she’s not sure a life without creature comforts is for her, she is certain of one thing: John, the Peace Corps recruiter, is the guy for her. The couple faces a two-year separation when Eve receives a placement in Ecuador. Reluctantly, Eve leaves John and heads to South America where, after a time, she finds her niche reuniting lost children with their families—until a coworker’s rape brings up traumatic memories for her and she’s sent back home. Though her stint in the Peace Corps is over, a future with John means a life less ordinary, and soon after their marriage he accepts a job with CARE in Uganda. Once there, Eve finds the people welcoming but the lack of amenities—the power is turned on for only three hours at night—and the persistent insect population daunting. With an appealing, down-to-earth voice, Brown-Waite chronicles her adventures abroad in an accessible, humorous tone sure to appeal to armchair travelers. --Kristine Huntley
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1st edition (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767929357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767929356
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,434,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Kalynne on January 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I had high hopes for this book as a fun and informative read. What I got was a whiny, annoying run-on narrative that left me shaking my head in disappointment. I found it very insulting that the author felt it necessary to dedicate so much wordspace to the fact that her oh-so-sensitive nose could hardly stand the fact that she found most if not all Ugandans too "smelly" for her and that their "BO" made life so difficult for her. Poor baby. She even found it necessary to say this was the first thing she smelled getting off the plane in Uganda. I'm sure they would be thrilled to hear this glowing assessment of their culture from her and that she thinks of their country as one big latrine. And speaking of overusing wordspace, this book could have been ten pages shorter (and better off for it) if she would have left out all the minute details about her two cats, which added absolutely nothing to the story. I found myself yelling at the pages "who cares about the cats,move on!!" Her insults about the clothing choices of Ugandan women came off trite and childish. And a word about her anxiety attacks that got her discharged from the Peace Corps herself after one year - I'm not totally knocking it, because I personally have been there and know how awful they can be, however, to say you are envious of a woman who has a brain tumor and wishing you had that issue instead of panic attacks, that's pretty harsh and unbelievable in my opinion. And I do have to agree with another reviewer who said "how convenient that her panic attacks suddenly ended after she got sent home from Peace Corps." It did appear that Eve just wanted to get home to her boyfriend and make him her husband ASAP.Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amy Leemon VINE VOICE on April 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A funny thing happens at Eve Brown's interview for the Peace Corps - she falls in love with John, her recruiter. And after her time in Ecuador, she comes home and marries him. Of course, she never dreamed of the unlikely direction her life will take with him! Soon after their marriage he gets a job with CARE and is assigned to Uganda!

And that's where the book really gets interesting. Uganda is certainly not the honeymoon capitol in the world now and it sure wasn't then. Electricity 3 hours a day (if they were lucky), no telephone, rebel bombings around the corner are just a few of the things they encounter. Shopping for food in an open air market takes some skill. Hint: you're better off to take the beef (its unwrapped, of course) with flies all over it and there's a very good reason for that.

Along with all this,she goes through a very difficult pregnancy. Just getting the diagnosis was an achievement.

There are funny parts (she has been compared in reviews to Erma Bombeck but I think Uganda would have tested even Erma's humor) such as her efforts to get a package before the Post Office closed. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy.

And there are frightening parts such as when the police officer who was guarding their house went berserk and threatened them and their dinner party guests with an AK-47!

Eve Brown-Waite has a great website with pictures. She is definitely a person worth reading about. I hope she is writing a book about their next posting which was to be Uzbekistan.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By B. McEwan VINE VOICE on April 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The promotional blurb for this book promises that it will make readers laugh, and while there are definitely funny sections I didn't laugh out loud. I did, however, tear up at the end, when the author describes leaving the village in northern Uganda where she, her husband, and eventually their baby, had spent three years working for CARE. (The Africa assignment followed a year-long stint in Ecuador for the Peace Corps.)

The power of this memoir is its apparent emotional authenticity and the effortless yet deeply felt language through which Eve Brown-Waite tells her story. By the time I had read through the book's 300 or so pages I shared a bit of her attachment to Uganda and the people she met there. What's more, I could perfectly understand the decision of the author and her husband to remain "in country" for an extended term of service, even though Uganda offered plenty of hardships, especially for Brown-Waite when she was pregnant with her first child. Not only was she ill with bacterial dysentery much of the time, but she also contracted malaria; hence the book's title.

Near the end of her narrative, the author writes that, like malaria, Uganda will remain in her blood for the rest of her life, and you firmly believe her. This is an absorbing story about an idealistic young couple that wanted to make the world a better place. Not so remarkable, except that these two actually went off and did it.

Don't miss First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria. And please do make a contribution to fight that disease, as the author suggests. She lists several good organizations to which you can donate in the Author's Note at the beginning of the book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jan Dahlin Geiger VINE VOICE on April 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a witty, engaging, and always interesting memoir and it is easy to see why the author has garnered several writing awards. I had the book stationed on my kitchen counter intending to read just a few pages each time I sat down for a meal alone or for a coffee break. However, each time I picked it up, I had trouble reading just a few pages and had to keep reading and laughing.

While the book is entertaining and enjoying throughout, the second half is much more interesting than the first half. While it is obvious that the author is very bright, talented, and highly trained, she presents herself with an excessive dose of self abnegation in the opening chapters to the point that you wonder what it was that her Peace Corps recruiter found to be so special about her. However, she begins to emerge as a more multi-dimensional person as the book progresses and becomes a very likable "heroine".

The initial chapters are the least interesting as she focuses on her peace corps recruiting experience. It picks up as she describes her peace corps time in South America, and really becomes fascinating as she describes her 3 years in Uganda while her husband works with CARE. The book is a combination of her descriptions, very witty dialogues, and letters written to the folks back home describing their experiences. It is very well put together and beautifully edited.

I debated a long time on whether to rate this book a 4 star or 5 star and finally decided that it is just a notch below those memoirs that I found to be most outstanding, such as "The Glass Castle" and "Hands of My Father." If I could, I would rate it 4 ½ stars. It is really fun to read, laugh out loud funny at times, always engaging, but just a tad lacking in any in depth character development.

Jan Dahlin Geiger, Get Your Assets in Gear! Smart Money Strategies
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