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The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat
"Jam-packed with warmth, honesty, wit, travail, and just enough madcap humor...
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Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

Created: 04/08/13

Replies: 26

Posted Apr. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
debracoley

Join Date: 08/11/11

Posts: 69

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Mrs. Roosevelt

Why do you think the author included her as a character?


Posted Apr. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jeffs

Join Date: 06/18/12

Posts: 47

RE: Mrs. Roosevelt

That's a good question and I wondered that myself. I do not know much about Eleanor Roosevelt, but I do know that we she was active in social issues during a time when there were not many out spoken individuals, especially people as well known as Mrs. Roosevelt. Perhaps she was included since the book does deal with some of the racial injustice's of the time. Or perhaps Mr. Moore just thought it would be funny to have a deceased former first lady hanging around for comic relief.


Posted Apr. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
debracoley

Join Date: 08/11/11

Posts: 69

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RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

I like your answer. If my American history doesn't fail me, I do recall her concern with social issues. I don't recall her "drinking" problem...comic relief-I would have places in the Women's Temperance League!
Personally, I enjoyed her presence in the novel for whatever reason:)


Posted Apr. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 102

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RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

I'm not sure, but it reminded me a good deal of HOPE: A TRAGEDY in which Anne Frank is found in the attic, writing a new book. I thought it was a good comic touch.


Posted Apr. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 138

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RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

Coincidentally, I just read a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, "I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday". Kind of sums up the characters of this book. Perhaps that's what the author had in mind


Posted Apr. 09, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
tillieh

Join Date: 04/28/11

Posts: 60

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RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

I agree with rebajane. I also think it was for comic relief and as a harbinger of death. I think I had heard some rumors that she did have a drinking problem, but she hid it very well.


Posted Apr. 10, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
iread49

Join Date: 04/10/13

Posts: 30

RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

This is a question I would love to ask the Author !


Posted Apr. 11, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 83

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RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

She does seem like a rather odd character to include in a southern based story. She is so old money East Coast society. Maybe the author will explain.


Posted Apr. 11, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
malindan

Join Date: 05/10/12

Posts: 44

RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

Eleanor Roosevelt was extremely active in both women's and civil rights. She was the first First Lady to play a real role in social issues. My guess is that this is the reason the author included her. I do feel that the way she is portrayed as a complete drunk is disrespectful and outweighs the supposed comic relief.


Posted Apr. 14, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
barbarak

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 13

RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

I have no idea. Her presence seemed completely out of place in an otherwise great novel.


Posted Apr. 15, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Nae's Gravatar
Nae

Join Date: 07/17/12

Posts: 17

RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

I imagine the author meant it as some sort of social/political commentary, but I have to admit that if we are going to accept the idea of ghosts just popping in and out of our lives willy-nilly, then it makes a twisted sort of sense to accept that now and then the odd "I don't know why in the heck I am seeing that one" ghost is gonna appear.


Posted Apr. 15, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sharalynnep

Join Date: 12/04/11

Posts: 33

RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

I don't know but I loved it!


Posted Apr. 16, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 36

RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

I wondered why it was Eleanor Roosevelt who showed up to forshadow that an actual death was going to occur. Was she truly included to make a social statement? Was she present as a racial statement? I also would like to ask the author why he chose Mrs. Roosevelt.


Posted Apr. 16, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 100

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RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

In the beginning, when Odette first saw her mother and Mrs. Roosevelt, I just thought it was funny. I also thought it would be in character for Eleanor to have made friends with Odette's mother because they were both unconventional and strong women. So I thought, yeah, they might be friends in heaven. But then she became the symbol of death. That I am not so sure about... I have a great regard for Eleanor Roosevelt as a woman and I just didn't see her as a drunk or the bringer of death... so that just seemed off to me through the whole book. I, too, would like the author to give us some insight on his thinking.


Posted Apr. 17, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Beth350

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 64

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RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

The ghost/spirit of Mrs. Roosevelt was a clever bit of whimsy. It allowed certain attitudes to be discussed without having to fully develop another "character" since Mrs. Roosevelt is a well known historical figure - even if she may not have behaved at all like the book character. I didn't see her as a bringer of death - but as a spirit that appeared in times of trouble or turmoil - which often included a death.


Posted Apr. 17, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kathleenr

Join Date: 12/07/12

Posts: 68

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RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

I thought having a famous person as mama's new best friend after death was good but I kept struggling with the question of why mrs. Roosevelt. I think something else might have worked better like having Whoopie Goldberg as herself who could bring her real life knowledge and experiences as a celebrity and tv spokesperson to the story. I suppose the author had to pick a dead person but someone known to be a bit more of a person who lived outside the rules of society like Annie Oakley would have been more convincing.


Posted Apr. 22, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
swchis39

Join Date: 09/26/12

Posts: 26

RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

I have no idea, but I do not think it added to the book. It also was not very flattering to Mrs. Roosevelt, and I wonder if it was true at all. Maybe she was a made up character that took the name of a famous person.


Posted Apr. 23, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
beverlyj

Join Date: 12/22/11

Posts: 33

RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

I have a couple of thoughts on why?

- Mrs Roosevelt was a strong-minded outspoken woman and the same can be said of Odette's mother so you can see them being "friends" or hanging with each other.
- Also Mrs. Roosevelt was a friend of Civil Rights and Black people


Posted May. 10, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 558

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Edward Kelsey Moore on Why Eleanor Roosevelt?

So many wondered about the inclusion of Mrs Roosevelt that we contacted the author to ask him. He wasn't able to reply until now due to being on tour, but has now responded.....

Many readers have asked me why I chose to have the ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt appear as a character in "The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat".  At readings, I'm asked about her more often than any character other than Odette, the central character of the book.  Early readers in Germany found her so interesting that the German translation of the novel was released with the title MRS. Roosevelt "Und Das Wunder Von Earl's Diner" ("Mrs. Roosevelt and the Miracle of Earl's Diner").  The primary reason I included Eleanor Roosevelt as the companion of Dora, Odette's mother, is that I truly revere her.  She was an astonishing and inspirational woman who spent a lifetime speaking out for human rights and extending a hand to poor and oppressed people, both inside the United States and around the world.  And she devoted herself to these important and noble causes at a time when doing so was not just unpopular, but dangerous. 

But anyone who has read "The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat" knows that the 
noble humanitarian I admire is not the same Eleanor Roosevelt who appears in the novel.  The character in "The Supremes" is a ghostly troublemaker. She drinks to excess. She loves bawdy stories. She climbs trees. My fictional Eleanor Roosevelt came about because I love the idea that, perhaps, when you are one of the major forces for positive change during your century, your reward might be to spend eternity doing any little thing that strikes you as fun. 

Why Eleanor Roosevelt? Because I wrote a novel about friendship that proposes that dead people are enjoying the afterlife, unseen, here beside us. And because I believe if any spirit deserves  the pleasures of an afterlife of unbridled good times and wildness if she chooses, it's Mrs. Roosevelt. 

--- Edward Kelsey Moore


Posted May. 10, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Lea Ann

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 68

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RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

Davina, thank you for tracking down the author and sharing his answer to this question with us. Love his answer. It makes perfect sense. At almost 81, I recall Mrs. Roosevelt from my early girlhood on into young adulthood. I've read several biographies of her and admire the way she stood up for those who needed a champion. I like the idea espoused by the author, that in Heaven she is getting to do fun things that were not available to her during her time on Earth. Yes, she is one of my heroes also.


Posted May. 10, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Beth350

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 64

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RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

I just read the author's response and realized once more that often as readers we try to put more into the use of a particular character than the author ever really had in mind. Eleanor Roosevelt, the President's wife was a strong, influential woman with great humanity. The ghost character in the book is in many ways a parody of the real person, yet she also exerts a strong influence over those who can see and hear her.


Posted May. 10, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
iread49

Join Date: 04/10/13

Posts: 30

RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

Thank you Davina for the answer to my question. It makes perfect sense !!! I would not have quessed this as his motivation, but it makes me happy !


Posted May. 10, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 85

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RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

Thanks for getting that information from the author, Davina. His response made perfect sense and made me smile! In fact, it helped make more sense of all the 'ghosts' in the book. Thanks again!


Posted May. 12, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 147

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RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

After reading the author's official reply, I feel as if the question I posted previously (Do you think Eleanor Roosevelt is a character because of her resignation from the DAR when they refused to allow an African American singer to perform in their building) could have been on track. I like the author's idea of people really enjoy the after life. I don't think the afterlife is quite like that- but then again.. who the heck knows for sure! ? Family members and I half heartedly joke about deceased family members playing golf in heaven, etc.


Posted May. 14, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
debracoley

Join Date: 08/11/11

Posts: 69

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RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

First, like so many others, Davina - thank you so much for all you do for those of who love to read and who
appreciate and seek the opinion/thoughts of crave the written word! I can't imagine what Book Browse would be, without you, your hard work, and care. Mr. Moore, oh that my reward for living the good
life might be..." to spend eternity doing any little thing that strikes me as fun!" What a fabulous answer!


Posted May. 14, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 558

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RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

Thank you Debra :)!


Posted May. 17, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 36

RE: Why do you think the author included Mrs Roosevelt as a character?

Thank you Davina for the answer from Mr. Moore personally. I love the fact that an author has the ability to use a character with such freedom in fiction. It enriches the story and leads to much debate and controversy. Which leads to great discussion. Thank you again Mr. Moore.


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