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 First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria by Eve Brown-Waite

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Join date : 2008-10-22
Age : 51
Location : Geneva, Illinois

PostSubject: First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria by Eve Brown-Waite   Thu 09 Apr 2009, 5:22 pm

First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart And a Third-World Adventure Changed My Life, by Eve Brown-Waite

I received this book as an Advanced Readers' Copy for a site I belong to. I need to do a review on it. It is a story about a woman from NYC who joins the Peace Corps to win her guy's heart (he is a Peace Corps recruiter). I believe she travels to Ecuador with him. It's supposed to be a pretty funny memoir and certainly travel related enough to pop on for this month's topic. We shall see! I'm kinda tough on memoirs as there are so many stinky ones out there.

Reserving judgment. Keeping and open mind. Review to follow.



Carolyn
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PostSubject: Re: First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria by Eve Brown-Waite   Sun 12 Apr 2009, 9:13 am

Review of First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart And a Third-World Adventure Changed My Life, by Eve Brown-Waite

While I usually love travel-related books (especially to anwhere in Africa and anywhere someone goes to help and makes a difference, e.g., Mountains Beyond Mountains), I did not care for this one. A big part of it was I just did not care for the author or her exploits. She is incredibly sarcastic, self-indulgent, uses sort of a teenage humor and it often came across as condescending and demeaning to the people around her. I guess everyone's idea of "funny" is certainly different. I felt this was anything but. The book starts with the Jewish American Princess (her own words) obsessing, chasing and eventually "catching" her Peace Corps Recruiter as a husband. That part was incredibly slow and hard to get through ~ it's just another girl meets boy story, and not really a good one. To save face and make it look like it wasn't just a husband-catching thing, she goes off to Ecuador in the Peace Corps, but ultimately fails due to her mental breakdown of sorts ~ which is actually quite serious (having to do with a friend's rape), but is handled in the simarly jokey, weird manner. Ecuador seemed sad, beautiful, severely impoverished and in great need of help, but the author never goes back.

Eventually, the married couple spends time in Uganda for the husband's job, but mostly that is about the author whining a LOT (did I say a LOT?), then at the very end of the book, she realizes she actually DID like it there, despite the prior 100 pages or so of whining. Again, it is supposed to be funny all the time, but the glaring example for me of why it wasn't, was the author's incessant lamenting about her second "house girl" Rose's body odor. She had to have commented on this about 10-12 times and how utterly hard and disgusting this made her life. She stopped at nothing to rip on Rose, who seemed like a very nice person. In an impoverished country where few black Ugandans have indoor plumbing, fresh water or food to eat (but of course, the author and her white, privileged "expat" friends certainly have all of the above), you would think she would be more understanding, especially since said Ugandan is washing the author's dirty underwear.

The final quarter or so is devoted to the author's pregnancy and the civil unrest in Uganda. Pregnancy, dirty diapers, breast feeding, etc. are not any more interesting because of locale and ultimately, I was just really glad when this book ended. I am not sure who I would recommend this one to. I'm not sure the purpose of the book.

I would not have finished this if I did not have my ARC review duties, which I take very seriously.

1.5 out of 5 starts

Carolyn
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