I often mention that I am a regular listener of the Books on the Nightstand podcast, but I must bring it up again for two reasons: that Ann Kingman recommended this book during a recent episode (#221) and that Michael Kindness, speaking about A Constellation of Vital Phenomena during another episode, coined the perfect word for a book you love — CLUTCHWORTHY.
That is exactly how I felt after I finished reading THE SUPREMES AT EARL’S ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT. I just loved this book so much I wanted to hold it close and keep all of the characters close just a little bit longer.
The Supremes is a novel about three lifelong friends who have helped each other through good and bad times and who must continue to do so as they continue through middle age. Odette, whom I consider the main character, is the glue who keeps everyone together and doesn’t hesitate to tell people what is on her mind, whether they are alive or dead. Clarice still loves her philandering husband despite all of the anguish he has put her through. Barbara Jean seems to have the perfect life on the surface, but she is still hurting over a horrible event in her past.
What I loved so much about this book – and this may not make sense to anyone but me – is that it is about race but it is not about race. The Supremes (as the friends were called) and their community are black, and that is a theme in parts of the story, but the novel as a whole has nothing to do with it. Dynamics in relationships between friends and family are the same no matter who you are.
With a colorful cast of supporting characters – including Eleanor Roosevelt! – this novel was funny and touching and I really did not want it to end. I loved almost all of the characters in the book – only one had absolutely nothing worth liking – but I especially loved Odette. She has a spirit in her that I only wish I could possess.
Oh, and another Books on the Nightstand connection to this book: The author, Edward Kelsey Moore will be at Booktopia in Petoskey, Michigan in September, and I cannot wait to talk with him about this book.