Helen Ellis is a hoot. That's Northern Critic Code for 'Don't expect serious essays on pressing topics, but prepare yourself for some off-the-wall hilarity' ... Self-satire is key to her humor ... As with Sedaris, it's sometimes hard to tell Ellis's fiction from her nonfiction. In both genres, she is better at stringing together choker-length one-liners than going long and deep with full strands ... Ellis occasionally ventures into more weighty territory ... Don't knock the wit. Southern Lady Code may not be weighty, but Ellis is fun — like the Nutter Butter snowmen she serves at her retro holiday parties. That's Northern Critic Code for 'Give yourself a treat.'
... [a] gimlet-eyed, laugh-out-loud collection ... zingers enliven the collection while simultaneously dispensing practical advice ... big-hearted ... Pride and Prejudice reimagined as an episode of Designing Women. Ellis draws back the curtain on a class-bound milieu, detailing the polite way to travel on planes, the virtues of mayonnaise and mail-order hams, but with cutting insights about our troubled times.
...a hoot and a half ... In nearly two-dozen essays filled with belly laughs and bits of hard-won wisdom, Ellis’ self-deprecating wit and tongue-in-cheek charm provide the perfect antidote to bad-hair, or bad-news, days.