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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Is this a wedding party, or a police lineup?"...
Edward Kelsey Moore's first novel, "The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat", is a rollicking, yet thoughtful, look at the black middle class community in a small southern Indiana town. Another reviewer points out that the book is populated by stereotypes, and it is, but somehow author Moore puts an incredible amount of nuance into those characters, so they go from...
Published 16 months ago by Jill Meyer

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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like this...
I was drawn to this book by the cosy colorful cover, the whimsical title, the comparisons to The Help ( a book I loved) and the myriad of glowing reviews.
It's about 3 women, (nicknamed The Supremes) who for most of their lives have been best friends and have had a reserved seat in the town diner, Earls All you can eat. It is a story of their lives and experiences,...
Published 14 months ago by nevina


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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Is this a wedding party, or a police lineup?"..., March 14, 2013
Edward Kelsey Moore's first novel, "The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat", is a rollicking, yet thoughtful, look at the black middle class community in a small southern Indiana town. Another reviewer points out that the book is populated by stereotypes, and it is, but somehow author Moore puts an incredible amount of nuance into those characters, so they go from "stereotype" almost to friends the reader can imagine having. And imaginary - or downright dead - friends do populate the book. Any book where a dead Eleanor Roosevelt sits cross-legged on a medical devise in a hospital ICU room, is definitely worth reading.

Yes, Eleanor Roosevelt is one of the dead characters in the book. However, Edward Moore gives much more space to those still here. The "Supremes", three women who are life-long friends, have reached the ages of 55 with all the happiness and pain those years, and relationships, bring. Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean are the feisty main characters around whom the story is drawn, but each has her own back story that affects today's storyline. It's not easy to write about a plot in "Supremes"; the plot is secondary to character and relationship development. "Things" happen, but they are dealt with with love and compassion. Sometimes with the help of those on the "other side".

"Supremes" is not a work of great literature. However, it can be rightfully compared to such novels as "Terms of Endearment" and the novels of Southern author James Wilcox. Those novels - and "Supremes" - are works that examine the people in small town America. In general, not poor and downtrodden lives, but those of the solidly middle class. The only difference in Wilcox's work and Moore's is that Wilcox writes about eccentric southern whites and Moore writes about eccentric southern blacks. These people, with deep roots in the modern society of southern towns, change and adapt with the times. Even though relationships may flourish and wither, the beloved dead in Moore's book are there to help those still on "this side" to give their lives a push towards the happiness and contentment they deserve.

Moore's book is a lovely book for those who treasure relationships over plot. I hope Moore continues to write; he's shown himself quite well in this book.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We found out about Mama seeing ghosts at a Thanksgiving dinner.", March 12, 2013
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The ghosts who inhabit this story are possibly my favorite characters, especially Odette's mother. I am a sucker for a well portrayed ghost mother with a witty mouth. I have to say I rather loved this book, even though I admit the story of life long women friends has been told before. But the story of these women has not been told, and I found their characters fresh and replete with with wry, intelligence. Intelligence in this case applying to the business of living. Odetter, Barbara Jean and Clarice are dubbed the Supremes by the founder of the diner and they reigned at their table ever since.

I said that the ghosts were my favorite characters, and the way death is portrayed is quite special. The women have had times of near collapse after the death of a loved ones. Other times, the dead just fit into the fabric of the town. I love Odette's speaking with them and hearing their comments. And this is not presented in a cutesy or precious fashion. They are part of the plotline, at their own insistence.

To me, this book is that rare commodity of accessable literature written with polish and restraint. I recommend you take off your shoes and allow yourself to wander around in Leaning Tree for a few hours. When you look up bleary eyed, you will have been there in the best of terms.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So good I had to put it down, March 16, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I absolutely love this book and couldn't wait to review it because it is so uniquely good. When this became available through Vine, I figured what could I lose. I had no idea that I would gain so much.

Edward Kelsey Moore is a spectacular writer. I am barely able to do the book justice in a review because the book is almost other worldly good. The prose is tight, the characters multi-dimensional, and the story intriguing and exciting. I don't like to write reviews that spoil the story, and I don't want to give anything away here. Suffice it to say if you like stories about interesting communities, the dynamics and complexities of relationships between women and the men they love, and have an appreciation for a tale well-told, this is the book for you. I am a mystery reader, but am having trouble finding a good mystery now that PD James and Stephen White are closing up shop. Sometimes I like stories about relationships between women such as The Saving Graces: A Novel, but I don't like sappy stories about girlfriends finding romance. I was intrigued, oddly enough because the characters in this book had strong names: Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean. They sounded like women who would have each other's back and not take any crap or pull any punches. It turned out to be true. Although this book is written by a black author, apparently about black people, don't let that deter you if you usually don't reach such books. These women are every woman and their families could be your family.

Okay, I can't do this book justice without telling too much. One reviewer said that author Moore is "supremely gifted and supremely entertaining." I can't say it any better than that. I usually read my mysteries at night before going to sleep. This book is so good, I put it down to read only when fully alert because I don't want to miss a word of this supremely satisfying book. It is a special treat. Thank you Edward Kelsey Moore for giving life and breath to Odettaa, Clarice, and Barbara Jean.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnolias of the Midwest..., March 12, 2013
By 
Big D (Auburn, AL. USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Imagine "Steel Magnolias" set in Indiana. Good, gripping read of youth and aging. .and changes of perspective, of dreams realized and unrealized...an appreciation of youth and the challenges of aging...good, at times touching read...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down This year's best so far, March 17, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat is the story of the friendship between three women, Clarice, Barbara Jean and Odette. Dubbed "the Supremes "by Big Earl the owner of the All You Can Eat, these three friends share the ups and downs of life in the 60's and 70's and beyond. One struggles to keep up appearances despite a messy home life. One struggles with memories of past abuse and true love lost and the third is faced with lie and death. Odette is further struggling with her newfound abilities to commune with the dead, especially with her late mother and her mother's frequent side kick, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. Though the women remain in their hometown their struggles mirror the nation's. Each one is struggling with family needs, community expectations and her own needs and wants.

Edward Kelsey Moore has crafted a delightful first novel, never skimping on characters or reducing them to serotypes. The story is poignant and funny and will draw readers to any other books he decides to write. An outstanding first effort.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a world you want to be in, March 23, 2013
What an engrossing, engaging, and moving world of pain, suffering, death, community, friendship, and love Moore has created, without sentimentality but with a rich appreciation of both the comedy and the beauty of individuals. Nobody is a stereotype; everyone is truly noticed. Absurdity is acknowledged and relished, but nobody is despised. Mama's conviction of her own beauty and self-worth is a powerful Life Lesson! Ghosts are recognized and confronted.

I read it in one long sitting -- couldn't put it down, and I eagerly await his next book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So funny!, March 17, 2013
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This book is so funny! Ghosts...a cheating husband...friendships! A must read...me and Mrs. Roosevelt recommend it highly! A must read!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this author needs to write more, publish more, and hurry up!, March 30, 2013
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I was very surprised to note only 13 reviews on amazon for this novel. Since I am a reader and NOT a writer, I will not tell you the plot or critique the author's style. I can say that this book made me feel like I got up Christmas morning and Santa Claus had stayed overnight so that he could hand me a plate of fried chicken, taters and gravy, and french silk pie so that I didn't have to waste time cooking when I could be out shoe shopping in my newly donated car. And I got a haircut and a manicure and some fairies had cleaned my house while I slept and it would never get dirty again. This is a REALLY feel-good book with characters that you WISH you could sit next to at the doctor's office. Heck, this is the book that you want to live in again and again. It isnt all lightness and fluff. It is honest and sad and funny and kind. So, no spoilers here.....read the story and be glad that it was written and shared with us.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like this..., May 5, 2013
By 
nevina "nevina" (Roxbury, CT, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was drawn to this book by the cosy colorful cover, the whimsical title, the comparisons to The Help ( a book I loved) and the myriad of glowing reviews.
It's about 3 women, (nicknamed The Supremes) who for most of their lives have been best friends and have had a reserved seat in the town diner, Earls All you can eat. It is a story of their lives and experiences, and is full of missed opportunities and regrets and sadness. There is a little hope thrown in, but not enough.
I fully expected and hoped to love this book, and for the first few pages I did. Soon though I realized I didn't much like any of the characters, except perhaps Oddette. I didn't care what happened to them and I didn't find anything hilarious about the book. It was too depressing and mean spirited for that. Also something really bothered me about the writing style. Most of the book was written in the third person, except for Odettes point of view. Shifting narrative styles like this was irritating to me and there was no reason for it that I could see. Odette's pov was not omniscient, there were many things happening with the other characters that she couldn't have known about. So why try this quirky jarring thing?
It didn't work for me.

Obviously my opinion is in a very small minority here, most readers seem to really have enjoyed this book. So don't be swayed by me. if you think you'd like it give it a try. Maybe you'll love it as much as others obviously do.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This Book ..., April 5, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Prepare yourself for a delightful time when you pick up Edward Kelsey Moore's "The Supremes At Earl's All You Can Eat". Populated with a very appealing cast of characters, this novel is one that will have you laughing aloud at their witticisms, wisdom, and philosophies on life and living. It will make you wish for friends as true and as loving as Odette, Barbara Jean, and Clarice.

"The Supremes At Earl's All You Can Eat" will have you smiling from the very first page as Odette deals with a "personal summer moment" and converses with the ghost of her dead mother. Mama is a feisty, witty "round" woman, who herself conversed with ghosts on a regular basis. Accompanied by the ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt, Mama makes several appearances throughout the book and plays a critical role in the storyline. Big Earl casts his influence throughout "The Supremes At Earl's All You Can Eat"; his compassion and wisdom have been instrumental in the lives of each of the characters.

As the novel progresses, readers are treated to a glimpse into the lives of women - Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean - who have been friends since childhood; whose roots are deeply planted in their hometown; and who grow and change as they move through life. Each woman will face her fears, will find strength in their friendship, and will emerge stronger as a result of the trials each must endure.

Edward Kelsey Moore has given readers a delightful novel. Characters are well defined, rich in their love for one another, and poignantly real. "The Supremes At Earl's All You Can Eat" is special book that will touch you in many ways. Definitely a 5-star book!
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The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat
The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore (Audio CD - March 12, 2013)
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