A close friend of mine who is also a novelist and book reviewer emphasizes in his writing workshops the importance of seducing the reader with a novel or story's first line. This is absolutely true in Jill Conner Browne's zany Sweet Potato Queen's First Big-Ass Novel (S&S, Jan.) as she intuitively grabs her audience and doesn't let go until the final line, using her natural timing to deliver humor at just the exact moments throughout. Although I have been a huge fan of Browne's nonfiction from her first entertaining nonfiction book (The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love in 1999), there is no question her fiction has proven to be even more hilarious. I can't tell you how hard I was laughing while reading this novel. This is a rich, emotional and, above all, hilarious fiction debut. I am so confident First Big-Ass Novel will hit the #1 slot on national bestseller lists as well as Book Sense's list, I'll risk my near-perfect track record by giving it an early top-spot call.
Volume 253 Issue 50 12/18/2006