Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can -Eat

by Edward Kelsey Moore, Knopf March 2012

...a great beach read

Covering a 50 year span from the late 60s through the new century, this story covers the friendship of three African American women, Clarice, Odette and Barbara Jean.  The girls meet and bond in high school.  They hang out at the local eatery, Earl’s  All You Can Eat where they are quickly dubbed the Supremes.  We meet their spouses, Richmond, Clarice’s philandering husband, Lester, Barbara Jean’s much older husband and James, Odette’s rock solid partner. Still friends after all these years they continue to meet at Earl’s now with their husbands.

The story is told in two voices, Odette speaks in the first person and the rest of the story is told in the third person.  Oh by the way Odette sees and speaks to dead people including her mother and Eleanor Roosevelt.  Sounds kind of crazy but it works in this story.  The tale is really not plot driven but character driven.  The friendship among these women is the story.  They are now in their fifties and are all dealing with life changing events.  Clarice has decided that she will no longer accept Richmond’s infidelities.  Barbara Jean is haunted by an earlier relationship and the death of her son Adam and Odette has a significant health challenge.  How these women deal with these issues and help one another is the core of the story.  I forgot to mention how much humor is in this story, while not the  laugh out loud type it is surely fun.

I am sure that some people will criticize this novel as being made up of stereotypes but I don't agree, I think these women are warm, real, intelligent characters that show the best parts of female friendships.  A surprise for me was that the author was a man.  I liked this book a lot and was sorry when it ended.  A great beach read!

I read a copy of this novel provided by the publisher.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I loved this book. It is one of those books where you get so attached and wrapped up in their lives that you don't want it to end. The scenes with the dead folk, especially Eleanor Roosevelt, are brilliant! I too was surprised this was authored by a dude! He got the mood just right - Nicely done!!