The Sweet Potato Queens' first big-ass novel Stuff we didn't actually do, but could have, and may yet

Jill Conner Browne

Book - 2007

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FICTION/Browne, Jill Conner
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New York : Simon & Schuster c2007.
Physical Description
291 p.
Main Author
Jill Conner Browne (-)
Other Authors
Karin Gillespie (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Browne's Sweet Potato Queen advice books on love, divorce, and cooking have found a wide audience in readers who appreciate the Queens' sassy southern charm. With coauthor Gillespie, Browne turns to fiction for the first time to share lives and loves of the Queens. Jill, Mary Bennett, Patsy, and Gerald are united by their outsider status in high school. When Tammy, a beautiful but insecure redhead, moves into town and is humiliated by the in-crowd, Jill and company form the Tammy Club to bolster her spirits. The five enter the homecoming parade in wild dresses and red wigs, but a misprint on their sign (it reads Yammy instead of Tammy) leads to the five rechristening themselves the Sweet Potato Queens. The groups' friendships last for decades, despite distance and differences of opinion. Mary Bennett pursues fame on the coasts, Gerald comes to terms with his sexuality, and Tammy marries. But not everything is rosy. Mary Bennett finds success as a soap actress at the expense of the love of her life, Jill finds a man who proves too good to be true, and Tammy's insecurities lead to infidelities. Spirited and brazen, the Queens are good company. ((Reviewed November 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

You've read the Sweet Potato Queen books, you've joined one of the 4100 SPQ chapters, you're anticipating the SPQ musical. Now read the first, big autobiographical novel. With a 20-city tour; reading group guide. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

After five nonfiction bestsellers, Browne leaps into fiction (with assistance by Bottom Dollar Girls creator Karin Gillespie) and delivers a GEN-U-WINE page-turner of a novel. Fans won't be surprised that Browne's combination of bawdy humor and self-empowerment affirmations easily translates in novel form. An unexpected delight is how deftly Browne creates fully dimensional supporting characters surrounding her first-person narrator, Jill Connor. (In her nonfiction adventures, all the other queens are named Tammy and intentionally blend together.) Beginning in 1968 with five high school misfits thrown together, Browne traces the core members of the Sweet Potato Queens through two decades of weddings, funerals and disastrous relationships. While readers learn the origins of "The Promise" and the motto "Never wear panties to a party," Browne also invents some new lingo (tyrants at work are "bossholes" and men adept in bed "know about the little man in the boat"). Fans of the Queen's artery-choking recipes are in luck; after the final chapter, Browne offers menu items from Rest in Peace, a restaurant the Queens would love to open that would only serve food found at Southern funerals. Browne's hilarious and heartwarming debut sets sturdy groundwork for future fictional follies. (Jan.) [Page 39]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An autobiographical first work of fiction by the best-selling author of the humorous Sweet Potato Queens reference series traces a young southern teen's rise through her tumultuous high-school years to her coronation as the town's annual harvest beauty. 250,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

An autobiographical work of fiction traces a young southern teen's rise through her tumultuous high-school years to her coronation as the town's annual harvest beauty.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"I have no pride. I tell anything," Jill Conner Browne is fond of saying. As Her Royal Highness, Boss Queen of the Sweet Potato Queens®, she has told legions of fans, known as "SPQ Wannabes," her delectable secrets to living, loving -- and eating -- like a queen. In her words, "More is more."How much more? The #1 New York Times bestselling author of five works of nonfiction now serves up The Sweet Potato Queens' First Big-Ass Novel: Stuff We Didn't Actually Do, but Could Have, and May Yet. The humor in this uproarious coming-of-queen novel is more delicious than a favorite dessert (the Queens favor Chocolate Stuff?, of course).In Jackson, Mississippi, Mary Bennett, Patsy, Gerald, and Jill are high school classmates whose daily routine is paced like a shuffle through the local red dirt -- until the arrival of a redheaded newcomer banishes monotony forever. With her luxurious mane and voluptuous figure, Tammy Myers aspires to join the silver-spooners, who make things happen in their lives. When Jill convinces Tammy and the others that money might buy a certain kind of good time and that true friendship has no price tag, the "Sweet Potato Queens" are born. "If it ain't fun, we ain't doin' it," runs their official club motto, and the Queens are true to their word.Together, the Queens laugh out loud as they step down the long -- and not altogether pretty -- road toward making their very own queen dust, the sparkle that comes from livin' and lovin' their own lives. The Sweet Potato Queens' First Big-Ass Novel: Stuff We Didn't Actually Do, but Could Have, and May Yet reveals that the journey isn't always easy, but in the company of the Queens, you can sparkle, too.