Get ready, all you Wannabes, Wannabe Wannabes, and Cute Girls: The Sweet Potato Queens are back, and they're better than ever. This fun-loving, Frito-eating, "Promise"-making group of "fallen Southern belles" made their world debut in 1999 with The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love, and now they have returned for their encore performance in God Save the Sweet Potato Queens. Their fearless leader, the "True Boss of Everything," Jill Conner Browne, has penned this advice-filled sequel with the same Southern manners, irreverent humor, and general Queenliness as the original; old fans and newcomers alike will find plenty of material to relate to and laugh about.
God Save the Sweet Potato Queens is completely outrageous and side-splittingly funny. It is not an absolute prerequisite to read SPQBOL (as Browne refers to it) first, but it is recommended; references frequently pop up, and Browne steadfastly refuses to recap too much. ("I am not going to re-tell all that stuff just to save you twelve bucks," she writes.) But to fill in those who are not yet intimately acquainted with the Queens, these Fabulous Women first appeared in public as the Sweet Potato Queens wearing "hand-me-down ballgowns and teeny-tiny tiaras" in Mal's 1982 St. Paddy's Day Parade in Jackson, Mississippi. By 1984's parade, they had ascended to the platform of the Giant Sweet Potato Float and, as the years passed, their costumes evolved to include curly red-headed wigs, pink fringed gloves, and short, green sequined dresses (complete with...uh...bodily enhancements). As the Queens' identities evolved and they grew from Cute Girls to Fabulous Women, they also gained a myriad of experience and wisdom, the second volume of which, thankfully, they have now decided to share with millions of loyal subjects.
Naturally, as in SPQBOL, much of the advice is related to men. Some chapters scrutinize the relationships between the sexes (from "Dating for the Advanced or Advancing" to "Marriage -- If You Must" and then "Divorce, Dating Again, and Revirgination"), while other chapters simply express befuddlement and even outrage at the differences between men and women ("Guys Ain't Girls," for example, or "Civil Rights, Body Hair, and Other Delicate Matters"). Beyond men, other topics faithfully examined include revenge (an extension of the SPQBOL chapter "Men Who May Need Killing") and, of course, comfort food. Who could truly live without "More Death-Defying Recipes"? In her excitement to impart her stories and advice, Browne occasionally rambles off topic, distracted by an anecdote meant to illustrate her point. Luckily, however, the new topic is usually just as entertaining as the original one, to which she always returns.
And so, over the course of God Save the Sweet Potato Queens, we humble readers get to know, love, and worship "Tammy," originally Browne's alter ego but now the chosen alias of all the Queens. Go forth, read on, and discover the Tammy inside you.