STARRED REVIEW
July 2017

A heartwarming reprise

By Edward Kelsey Moore

In 2013, Edward Kelsey Moore introduced an indomitable and unforgettable trio of headstrong African-American women in his bestselling debut, The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat. Lifelong best friends Odette, Clarice and Barbara Jean—known collectively as the Supremes—won the hearts of readers worldwide as they navigated life’s ups and downs with grit and good humor. After four years, fans will jump for joy that Moore’s long-awaited sequel is finally here.

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In 2013, Edward Kelsey Moore introduced an indomitable and unforgettable trio of headstrong African-American women in his bestselling debut, The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat. Lifelong best friends Odette, Clarice and Barbara Jean—known collectively as the Supremes—won the hearts of readers worldwide as they navigated life’s ups and downs with grit and good humor. After four years, fans will jump for joy that Moore’s long-awaited sequel is finally here.

In fictional Plainview, Indiana, life hasn’t changed much for our heroines since we last left them: Odette and her husband still have a rock-solid marriage; Barbara Jean and her high school sweetheart are enjoying a second chance at love; and Clarice is experiencing a welcome renaissance in both her marriage and her concert pianist aspirations. The three women still meet for their weekly post-church catch-up lunch at Earl’s diner, and it seems that after the tumult of the previous novel, they’ve found their grooves and are sailing through their golden years. All this changes, however, when Clarice’s mother falls madly in love with the owner of the local blues joint/gentlemen’s club/general house of ill repute (much to the bemusement—and amusement—of the town). Their wedding brings home legendary bluesman El Walker, even though he swore decades earlier he’d never return to Plainview. El’s performance at the wedding is the calm before a truly epic storm that rips open tender wounds from the past and catches the Supremes and their families in its terrible wake.

Like its predecessor, The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues is an uplifting read that tugs at readers’ heartstrings and elicits enthusiastic chuckles in equal measure. Moore masterfully balances sorrow and humor, scandal and earnestness, to create a soul-nourishing narrative that entertains and captures life’s richness. With a colorful cast of characters and touching meditations on family, faith, love and loss, this sparkling sequel will satisfy fans while welcoming new ones to the fold with open arms.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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