“Moore, besides being laugh out loud hilarious, has a profound understanding of human nature . . . A truly remarkable writer. This book is a joy to read.” —Fannie Flagg, author of The Whole Town’s Talking and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
“The arrival of [Moore’s] new novel had me singing anything but the blues.”—Julia Glass, National Book Award-winning author of A House Among the Trees and Three Junes
From the author of the bestselling The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat, The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues, an exuberant and poignant new novel of passions, family, and forgiveness
When a late life love affair blooms between Mr. Forrest Payne, the owner of the Pink Slipper Gentleman’s Club, and Miss Beatrice Jordan, famous for stationing herself at the edge of the club’s parking lot and yelling warnings of eternal damnation at the departing patrons, their wedding summons a legend to town. Mr. El Walker, the great guitar bluesman, comes home to give a command performance in Plainview, Indiana, a place he’d sworn—and for good reason—he’d never set foot in again.
But El is not the only Plainview native with a hurdle to overcome. A wildly philandering husband struggles at last to prove his faithfulness to the wife he’s always loved. And among those in this tightly knit community who show up every Sunday after church for lunch at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat, are the lifelong friends, known locally as “The Supremes” —Clarice, facing down her longing for, chance at and fear of a great career; Barbara Jean, grappling at last with the loss of a mother whose life humiliated both of them, and Odette, reaching toward her husband through an anger of his that she does not understand.
Edward Kelsey Moore’s lively cast of characters, each of whom have surmounted serious trouble and come into love, need not learn how to survive but how, fully, to live. And they do, every one of them, serenaded by the bittersweet and unforgettable blues song El Walker plays, born of his own great loss and love.
Moore (The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat) returns to Plainview, Ind., to tell further delightful tales of the Supremes, with story lines filled with music and the pain between fathers and their adult children. If these Supremes were a musical group rather than childhood friends with a nickname that has lasted decades, Odette Henry would be the lead singer. She is always trying to help those around her and has become accustomed to receiving sometimes-useful advice from her dead mother and other spirits. Odette and her friend Barbara Jean Carlson hope to orchestrate a reconciliation between blues man El Walker, long absent from town, and his son, Odette's husband, James. Other plot threads follow the third Supreme, Clarice Baker, who's struggling with nerves before her Chicago piano concert. Moore weaves these and other strands together beautifully, with humor balancing out the more painful moments. His characters, both living and dead, come together to make a wonderful whole.