Tea, Scones, and Malaria

Title: Tea, Scones, and Malaria
Published by: Karen Brooke
Release Date: March 16, 2021
Pages: 336
ISBN13: ‎ 978-0578876153
Buy the Book: Amazon
Winner of a Firebird Book Award for memoir, 2021
A B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree
"Tea, Scones, and Malaria is a fantastic read that explains much about the tragedy that would eventually unfold in modern-day Zimbabwe and, to top it off, it is a wonderfully written story that is incredibly easy to read and enjoy."

Grant Leishman, Reader's FavoriteTea, Scones, and Malaria is the phenomenal true account of one girl's extraordinary upbringing in the rough and feral bushveld of 1950s and 60s Rhodesia. Moving from one makeshift camp to the next, the family follows Dad, a bridge builder for the government, deep into the heart of elephant and cheetah country.

"We ran barefoot in the bush, and swam in crocodile-infested rivers. We shared our camps with snakes, scorpions, and jerrymunglums. There was no electricity, no hospitals, and no schools in the bush. How I survived it all, I will never know."

Hilarious, touching, raw, and deeply honest, this memoir records the journey from child to teenager to woman against the backdrop of a vanishing world, as Rhodesia begins its long and tumultuous transition into the independent country of Zimbabwe.


October is known generally as a month when, if you need a reason to kill yourself, it might be at this time of year. October is a blasted, infernal month of relentless heat that seems to stretch into eternity. It is the time between seasons, before the rains arrive, when the dry months of the winter season reluctantly give way to summer. A hush descends over the desiccated, dusty plain. Animals take shelter in the sparse shade, and we humans fan our faces with whatever flat object we can find that moves the air. The temperature soars, and the barren, blanched river beds glare bright under the relentless sun. Not a breeze stirs, and waves of heat shimmer on the dry river bed. Animals search frantically for the water that will slake their thirst. Our pool at the bend has shrunk into a muddy, stagnant smudge on white-hot sand.  

It is only in November that the thunderheads build up, towering gray battleships driven by gusty breezes. In the bush, twirling dust devils cavort, while the smell of distant raindrops on chalky soil lends a briskness to the atmosphere. Butch, Rabbit and I, lift our faces, sniffing the rejuvenated air, then the first raindrops fall—whopping splats that hit us in the face as we run outside, bare naked, to feel the onslaught. We scream in delight as the pelting rain hits our skinny, pale asses.