Meet Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean. Earl's All-You-Can-Eat is home away from home for this inseparable Plainview, Indiana, trio. Dubbed "the Supremes" by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they weather life's storms together for the next four decades. Now, during their most challenging year yet, dutiful, proud, and talented Clarice must struggle to keep up appearances as she deals with her husband's humiliating infidelities. Beautiful, fragile Barbara Jean is rocked by the tragic reverberations of a youthful love affair. And fearless Odette engages in the most terrifying battle of her life while contending with the idea that she has inherited more than her broad frame from her notorious pot-smoking mother, Dora.
Through marriage, children, happiness, and the blues, these strong, funny women gather each Sunday at the same table at Earl's diner for delicious food, juicy gossip, occasional tears, and uproarious banter.
With wit and love, style and sublime talent, Edward Kelsey Moore brings together four intertwined love stories, three devoted allies, and two sprightly earthbound spirits in a big-hearted debut novel that embraces the lives of people you will never forget.
Some of the recent comments posted about The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat. Join the discussion! You can see the full discussion here.
Did you like the writing format?
Initially I found that I was a bit puzzled - - even though I've read other books that switched narrators and/or time setting. With "Supremes" the transition seemed a little more awkward than in some other books, or maybe it felt that way to me since ... - rebeccar
Do you believe miracles are possible?
I believe that Odette was right when she said miracles are just things that were supposed to happen. - kathleenr
Do you think Barbara Jean will find happiness with Chick? How do you foresee their story ending?
If not happiness, then piece of mind if the second chance did not work out. Both have learned hard life lessons over the course of their lives and understand that happiness is what you make of the moment. - beverlyj
Does the author write convincingly from the perspective of women?
I thought he did it very well. Congratulations to him. - kathleenr
Does the German translation title seem to change the story?
I am glad that the the author included information about the German translation of his book including Mrs. Roosevelt in the title. [b]Mrs. Roosevelt "Und Das Wunder Von Earl's Diner[/b] ("Mrs. Roosevelt and the Miracle of Earl's Diner"). I can't ... - rebeccar
"A novel of strong women, evocative memories and deep friendship." - Kirkus
"What a delight and a privilege it is to be among the earliest readers of this breathtaking debut. The supremely gifted, supremely entertaining, and supremely big-hearted Edward Kelsey Moore has conjured up the story of an entire community and, at its sparkling center, a trio of memorable heroines. How I long to have Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean on speed-dial! At least I'll be able to brag that I knew them before they hit the big time ... as I can promise you they will." - Julia Glass, author of Three Junes and The Widower's Tale
"The author uses warmhearted humor and salty language to bring to life a tight-knit African-American community... With salt-of-the-earth characters like fearless Odette, motherless Barbara Jean, and sharp-tongued Clarice, along with an event-filled plot that readers will laugh and cry over, this is a good bet to become a best seller." - Library Journal
"Edward Kelsey Moore has written a novel jam-packed with warmth, honesty, wit, travail, and just enough madcap humor to keep us giddily off-balance. It teems with memorable characters, chief among them Odette, as unlikely and irresistible protagonist as we are likely to meet. The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat is that rare and happy find: a book that delivers not only good story, but good company." - Leah Hager Cohen, author of The Grief of Others
"Perhaps the most remarkable quality of The Supremes is love--the author's love for his characters, even the most flawed, shines from every page. If Moore's novel is about a rebirth in middle age, it is also about achieving redemption against all odds, even when it seems too late." - Shelf Awareness
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Rated of 5
Fluff and Stuff
Almost all the southerner's I know can tell and enjoy a good story, and when I say tell, I mean t...e...l...l, with all sorts of long-winded side steps and meanderings before getting to the point. It's sort of like we were born with the innate ability of knowing just how many adjectives can be thrown into a single sentence before it is time to move on to the next one. Unfortunately, when the author exceeds that limit of acceptable adjectives per sentence some part of the southerner tends to shuts down with the clangy twang of the door of a coon trap, resulting in loss of the rhythm of the story. That is kind of what happened to me with this book. Even though I enjoyed reading it, and in parts it was amazingly touching and humorous, in other parts there were just too darn many adjectives happening to make it a totally satisfactory read.
That said, the plot line was intriguing, it did keep my interest all the way through, and I am immensely grateful it ended in an upbeat way before I used up an entire box of tissues (another sure-fire way to suck a southerner into the plot line, throw in lots of "drama" and this author surely did that well too).
I compare it to taking that spray can of "Fluffy Whip" and squirting a big dollop into the mouth, but once you swallow the sweet satisfaction just disappears too darn quickly. It was, however, a fairly good way to spend a long afternoon in the porch hammock.
Rated of 5
Warm and Full
I put this book down with a smile on my face and the wish to visit this town and meet the characters. Each of the three women were fully formed and shine like stars. I spent time laughing at the everydayness of the personalities that weaved in and out and barely noticed that this story never leaves the town. The beauty of this book is that it never takes an African-american community down the path of the downtrodden. It gives dignity to everyone from Odette to the nutty psychic - from their diction to the way they work around the dark and the light. Eleanor Roosevelt took the cake. I can see a movie coming with this story.
Rated of 5
Entertaining, But That's All
I liked the book The Supremes At Earl's All You Can Eat, but over all, I was disappointed. There were too many characters and character references, and too much backstory to remember. It would have been nice if the author had focused more on the Supremes deep-felt triumphs and heartaches, instead of lightening it with fodder and over-done banter. The book is filled with humor, though, and the author has a great sense of humor. I would have liked to FEEL something from this book as well as enjoy a light-hearted read. I think the author is a good writer, and has a wonderful sense of how women think, considering he's a man, and I found that interesting. This is a good book if you want frivolity and not much depth. I kept looking for MORE in it.
Edward Kelsey Moore lives in Chicago, where he has enjoyed a long career as a cellist. His short fiction has appeared in several literary magazines, including Indiana Review, African American Review, and Inkwell. His short story "Grandma and the Elusive Fifth Crucifix" was selected as an audience favorite on National Public Radio's Stories on Stage series. The Supremes is his first novel. Visit him at edwardkelseymoore.com
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