Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Supremes At Earl's All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore

This is one of those smile through the tears novels about female friendship and all the storms it weathers. Three women of color, known collectively as "The Supremes" have been meeting for decades every Sunday after church at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat diner, the first black owned business in Plainview, Indiana.

Clarice, the prim and proper one, the girl who always did what mama said, and gave up a promising career as a concert pianist for marriage, has been struggling for years to cope with her handsome husband Richmond's infidelities and turn a dignified blind eye.

Barbara Jean, the beautiful and vulnerable non-famous black version of Elizabeth Taylor, knows what sadness is all about. Her mama died at thirty-five and left her alone to fend for herself against men who could never leave her alone. She fell in love with Chick Carlson, "The King of the Pretty White Boys," in a world inhospitable to interracial marriages, found herself pregnant and her lover gone, but like a knight in shining armor Lester, an older man who soon became very wealthy, was there to marry her. Then her little boy died, and Barbara Jean began her own struggle with the bottle, and at a funeral, just before her husband Lester died in a fountain, Chick reappeared like a ghost from the past.

Odette, the fearless one, who was born in a sycamore tree, the daughter of a pot-smoking, ghost seeing mama, has started seeing ghosts of her own, including her mother and a wild version of Eleanor Roosevelt, and is fighting the most terrifying battle of her life, one she is afraid she won't be strong enough to win--cancer.

This was a fast read, and a very funny book peopled with vivid, vivacious and eccentric characters. The wedding scene is a tacky, hilarious gem, which I won't spoil for you, you have to read this one yourself. I don't normally read this kind of book, but I'm so glad I picked up this one, it made me laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time.

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