By Edward Kelsey Moore
Vintage Books, $24.95, 307 pages
For fans of the written word, winter is often the perfect time to plan a cozy armchair vacation. It’s really quite simple. Pick a book filled with a dynamic sense of place, some unique characters to keep you company on your travels, find a comfortable spot to read in and you’re halfway there. The rest is up to authors like Edward Kelsey Moore, in whose writing it is so easy to become lost. Step inside Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat, the best diner in downtown Plainview, Indiana, a tight knit African-American community. Odette, Barbara Jean and Clarice have been meeting at the same window table for almost 40 years (right about the time they were nicknamed The Supremes). Though times have changed and people have come and gone, the three best friends have remained a constant presence in each other’s lives. Odette is a mother, wife and outspoken leader of The Supremes. She is a force to be reckoned with and will likely be a fan favorite. Motherless Barbara Jean finds the comfort of family in her friends. Clarice is torn between loving the man she married and hating the philandering cheater he has become. Can she find solace in her music or are her piano playing days a thing of the past?
It is hard to believe that this is Moore’s first novel. He writes like a seasoned pro. It is a rare treat to find a male author who so accurately captures the feminine spirit in his female characters. Readers will laugh out loud and tear up as the three women experience the ups and downs of life. The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat is a beautiful story about the importance of female friendship. Get to know these dynamic women as they tackle first love, marriage, motherhood, infidelity, heartbreak, racism, loss and redemption, all with the support of their very best friends.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin