The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore might suggest the well-known singing group, but it has nothing to do with that famous trio, The main characters Barbara Jean, Clarice, and Odette don't even sing. Instead, this is the story of the life-long friendship of these three women through both good and bad times.
The storyline transverses between the past and the present interweaving the life stories of these childhood friends. The trio was dubbed "The Supremes" by Big Earl, owner of the fictional All-You-Can-Eat diner, a black-owned business in Plainview, Indiana. Big Earl even reserved a special table whenever they met at his eatery.
Earl's diner is a social gathering hub not only for the Supremes, but for many others in the community It's a meeting place and a refuge offering solace, humor and support when most needed. The women and their husbands gather at the diner every Sunday after services at their respective churches to hear the latest news and to gossip about the town's eccentric characters. And, there are many characters including fortuneteller Miss Minnie, Veronica (Clarice's cousin) and her donut-addicted daughter, Sharon.
I soon became involved in each woman's life through the tale of their individual and shared histories that are filled with drama, tragedy and hard choices. Clarice, a promising pianist, gave up a career to marry Richmond, a former college football star and notorious womanizer. Barbara Jean struggles with alcoholism after the death of her young son and later her husband, Lester. Odette has a stabile marriage to James and thinks she is going through symptoms of menopause only to learn she has a serious disease. She learns that like her deceased mother she sees ghosts, including that of her mother and, as unlikely as it sounds, Eleanor Roosevelt.
The Supremes at Earl's is a debut novel and has been optioned for a movie adaptation. The author, Edward Kelsey Moore, was born in the Midwest (Indiana) where he still resides (Chicago). His essays and short fiction have been published in literary magazines and The New York Times. Kelsey is a professional cellist who has performed with the Chicago Philharmonic and the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra and toured nationally and internationally.