I listened to the audio-book version of this, read by the author, and she is a delight. Mostly Jill just tells stories: fluffy, men/love related, “I heard this from a friend” stories. Her Southernness is part of the draw. I love how she says “that’s the dumbest thing I ever heard in my INtire life,” and how she calls dumbasses “igmos.”
The Sweet Potato Queens thing is hard to describe. A group of Southern ladies like to dress up in giant wigs and sequins, drink, eat, tell stories, and have parades. They’re all named Tammy (Tammy Dawn, Tammy June, Tammy Petunia), and they love to remind people not to take life so seriously. Plastic surgery, diets, blind dates: Browne takes all the usual “women’s magazine” topics and puts her own flair to the advice side of things.
It’s not all a home run. This is definitely geared toward straight white ladies, and some of the “all men are like this” and “all women are like that” stuff is pretty eye-rolly. Some of it, though, seems pretty accurate. She tells one story about getting a job at the YMCA back when it was only Ms, and being shocked to find real, professionally-made signs posted that said “Please do not spit on the walls.” She was naturally flummoxed, and pointed out that a ladies’ gym would NEVER need such signs. She also rambles about aging, getting out of bad relationships, trying ridiculous Skymall beauty gadgets with her girlfriends, etc.
Her message is good: love yourself, love everybody else (except assholes), don’t put up with nonsense, and don’t put your own nonsense into the world. And she tells it all with a Southern flair for the ridiculous.