New Novels

Goddesses - Summary

Goddesses - 49½ shades of charcoal

Misogyny versus Mirth - a novel by Clive La Pensée

75000 words divided into 39 chapters.

Text edited by Dr. Hilary Johnson.

Summary - Connie Grimshaw, is a successful business woman in an international consultancy. She has worked hard and ignored her emotional needs. One day, on a business trip, she realises the cost of her repressed attitude to sex. Her PA (Dee) recommends she models herself on the pagan goddesses, lives by their rules and develops the vamp in herself. The Goddesses help to rationalise her lascivious behaviour, but don’t stop her getting into hilarious, embarrassing and sometimes, dangerous situations.

But there are forces at work, which see the opportunity to make money through mismanagement of Connie’s feelings. Can she defeat the bad boys?

Story goal. – Connie’s first flirt after her hormones take over, is easy to excuse. She wants to get Greg, (CEO of a US firm based in Baltimore) to sign a contract, that would save her company. He signs, but rejects her offer of steamy sex. Her PA, is passionate about pre-Christian sagas and helps her with her conscience, by telling Connie that an ancient Goddess, (Lilith – Genesis) would have done the same to achieve the goal.

Back in London, life becomes a boring strap-hang on the Northern Line, until, on a packed evening train, a man invades her space.  She excuses him by arguing that he couldn’t help the contact – or was she excusing her own inaction? Dee invokes Inanna, and her Sumer poem, to justify Connie’s tolerance of the inexcusable. On subsequent evenings, Connie, and her anonymous suitor, advance the flirt, he playing Goliath and she Inanna. They become reckless, and are caught, but escape arrest. Connie is triumphant. She has kicked her repressed upbringing, can have sex in public, despite the dangers. Dee is thrilled that Inanna motivated Connie to ignore convention – and the law - and that Connie is now a suitable blackmail target.

Conflict. After the scare, they use a hotel, and no longer need goddesses. They role play sex scenes in Beardsley’s Venus and Tannhäuser, and discover Beardsley never tested his ideas. Love making, dressed as Venus and her unicorn, descends into farce and giggling fits.

The envelope with photos of Connie having sex on the Northern Line, arrives. Connie floats on a hormonal cloud and is dismissive of any danger. She does take advice from her landlord (Abe), who is an insurance investigator. He works out that Greg in the US, now owns the raunchy pictures, and was aided by Dee to get them. As there is no money demand, Abe speculates that Greg will try to blackmail Connie into revealing industrial data.

Connie, ignoring dangers, and against Abe’s advice, uses literary sources to inspire a new scenario. (Gautier – Mademoiselle du Maupin).  She dresses as a man, allows herself to be seduced anonymously by her lover, who thinks he is getting gay sex. When he discovers the object of his desires is his lover, his bisexuality and that he is a professional seducer of rich women, is outed. His gay leanings will scare off blackmail targets, and he has enraged the homophobia of customers. He leaves town, but returns when broke and seeks Connie’s help.

Resolution. Abe and Connie spend Christmas in Baltimore, using Christmas day to get the original pictures from Greg’s empty apartment. Two black waitresses from their hotel, who know all the dives and shady taxi drivers, help with locations. They also destroy Dee’s reputation, cunningly quoting the New Testament, on camera, in a swinger club, where Dee looks for a pick-up. They sell the video clip to a local news agency. Dee is busted and flees the US.

Abe and Connie fail to retrieve the photos, but gather enough about Greg’s deviancy, to cause a stalemate. Greg must flee Baltimore. His fraudulent activities would be a life-sentence in the US and the police are now interested in him. He arrives in London, to seek a new life and revenge.

Dee agrees to swap sides and help Abe and Connie. She sets up a play, loosely using Freya and Odin to contrast good and evil. Abe takes a practical approach and uses a law firm to unite Greg’s rich and famous blackmail targets. Knowledge is power. Greg is busted again. He agrees to work with Dee, take therapy and destroy all information held about Connie. Abe marries Connie.


Sexual scenes are in Beardsley’s words, or from the Sumer song, Inanna sings etc. The edition presented here, intended for publication, is never over-explicit about Connie’s behaviour. Clever hints can be more erotic and leave space for wit.