Book Review: Sweet Potato Queens’ 1st Big-Ass Novel

Grade: A

I can still remember stumbling across The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book Of Love several years back and just falling in love with the whole idea of SPQ and more importantly, falling in love with Chocolate Stuff™, a recipe I’ve devoured several times over since first reading about it (it is seriously that good). The SPQ’s Queen Boss Lady, Jill Conner Browne, has written several nonfiction books that will help you fall in love, get married and / or divorced, have children, cook great food and more.

So when their first fictional book came out, The Sweet Potato Queens’ First Big-Ass Novel: Stuff We Didn’t Actually Do, but Could Have, and May Yet, I was pretty eager to get my hands on a copy, which I did, but somehow in the mix of life, love and babies I forgot I’d gotten it. I know, lame. But it was a lucky thing in some ways, because a couple weeks ago I was lamenting the complete and utter lack of anything good to read in my bookshelf that is literally overflowing with books I have yet to read except none of them were the RIGHT book that would fulfill my need for a light hearted, funny, feel good literary experience, when I saw my forgotten copy. It was like fate.

I really had no idea what kind of novel I was delving into – but with good faith and fond memories of Chocolate Stuff™, I jumped in and found the perfect light read – chick lit in all the glory that once gave the genre a good name. It tells a tale about overcoming and surviving life’s not so fabulous moments in the company of good people – a coming of age novel where things don’t always go right but they do eventually work out – with the help of good friends and good food.

The novel begins in the fictional childhood of SPQ Jill Conner Browne and eventually settles into her life as a young adult and beyond and her friendships with Mary Bennett, Patsy, Gerald and Tammy – it (fictionally) tells the story of how the Sweet Potato Queens came to be and the lives and friendships of each SPQ. The general theme of this story is that sometimes you have to step in and create your own success and embrace your inner Queen – because if you won’t embrace it, who will? I devoured this book quickly and I’d eagerly recommend this to any fan of “chick lit” – any woman who’s experienced the pros and cons of life – and anyone who likes good humor, good food and good writing.

You can visit the Sweet Potato Queens online at