Silent Goodbyes

C.C. Saint-Clair

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Join Emilie and Solange on board Lazy Moon

Many-many years beyond LazyMoon …

I reached for her hand and pulled her close to me behind the wheel. She draped an arm around my shoulder, a little stiffly at first and for a moment, together but with different eyes, churning different thoughts, we looked in the same direction, straight ahead, beyond mast and pulpit.

We eventually lost ourselves in a rare moment of total connectedness with the seascape around us. Wispy cotton-strand clouds stretched ahead.

The wind was blowing firmly but steadily. A few isolated white caps were cavorting towards us, still thin and unthreatening.

Under the afternoon sun, thick cords swelled and glistened on port side as so many silverbacks undulating away from us. The watery seal of the afternoon moon was hovering above the mast. “Here, have a feel of the wheel.”

I had eased myself away from the wheel and pulled her gently into position in front of me. “It’s a different feel than when motoring. Just keep it going as it is.

Two hundred and thirty degrees on the compass.” She glanced at the instrument and smiled as she spread her hands in a comfortable quarter to three positions, feeling the gentle tug under her palms. She snuggled back against me. We gave in to the sway of the boat and rocked gently with it, her back against my chest. I nuzzled her hair, hands crossed over her stomach.

Behind us, the rubber dinghy made wet slapping, gulping sounds while sighing and whispering a curious monologue in a tongue only comprehensible to the waves that lapped its soft underbelly.

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Part 1

Part 2

What people are saying about “Silent Goodbyes

  1. A thought from Rowena Abbott, Sydney, Australia

    Silent Goodbyes: When it’s over, it’s over unless you want her back. The trouble is: how do you know?

    Emilie Anderson is a 46-year-old lesbian who counts herself as one of the lucky ones, provided she doesn’t think too hard about her safe, comfortable job or her safe, comfortable-enough relationship with grey-eyed Solange.

    One day, a chance encounter has the potential to alter everything, but only if Emilie lets it, only if Roberta wants it to. And for Emilie, a bit of a control freak, putting her emotions on hold while another woman takes over the controls is not an easy thing.

    Silent Goodbyes is primarily about making choices. It is also about making love and sailing around that beautiful area of Australia made up by the Whitsunday Islands.

    C.C. writes about Emilie’s growing awareness of Roberta with insight and tenderness.

    “As her eyes meet mine,” Emilie thinks from the cabin of her jeep as she looks at Roberta, “I feel a surge of tenderness. An urge to protect her from my need of her. I could die to nuzzle that red hair and its silver glints, to feel the texture of each curl with my hand, with my lips. She raises her hand to touch my cheek.

    It is cool, and I press my face into it. I close my eyes against the tenderness of her touch. Against the blinding ache it has released in me. And I make myself breathe in before daring to open my eyes again. She nods, perhaps knowingly. And again I blush. Blue eyes smile into mine.”

    I would say that it is a story for any woman who’s ever fallen in lust, who’s ever tried to suppress the attraction.

    “And I, too, was thinking of the difficulty of practising at extending the time between our meetings so that eventually the pangs of desire, to touch, to talk, to look, to read something you’d e-mailed to me, would contract to a small manageable glow, in memory.”

    C.C. Saint-Clair’s writing is fresh, direct and evocative, combining the description of action and introspection with consummate ease. This is her third novel that I’ve read; I’m eagerly awaiting her fourth.

  2. Snipped from the novel by Max L

    Life’s but a game of pinball. We are the ball. Once ejected into the world, we bounce from pillar to post, sometimes cushioned, sometimes not. The sure thing is that sooner or later, we end up in the hole

  3. Jodie Karmmer

    “2 women at sea + a reckless lover + loyalty + lust + sensual language + deceit + coming full circle and having to say goodbye = Silent Goodbyes”

  4. Carla, London

    “Layered sensuality blended with gritty realism vividly describes the complex, emotional and psychological landscape that lurks just below the surface. If you keep writing, CC, I’ll keep reading.”

  5. Joanna Mailer

    Many winning ingredients make this plot a most enjoyable one. I read it on a long night-train ride across borders. The rain was beating down against the windows.
    The man across from me was snoring. The air in the compartment was stale and stuffy. Didn’t bother me much. I wasn’t there.

    I was onboard Lazy Moon with Emilie and Solange. I was the ‘fly on the wall’ as Emilie and Roberta were trying to convince each other and themselves that they hadn’t yet reached the Point of No Return – That they still could pull away and say goodbye

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  6. Jen Craven

    I didn’t know it either, in my private life, that my X and I had just made love for the last time. Neither had she. We had just finished reading silent goodbyes. Strange how life moves us w/o us knowing

  7. Snipped by Louis Jennings

    Her hair was soft, her shoulder supple and smooth under my hands. The small of her back was taut. Her freshly brushed teeth still retained the faint taste of her mint flavoured toothpaste. I caressed the smooth curve of her buttocks. I held on to her. Her hips moved gently against mine. But then, rather awkwardly, she unexpectedly extricated herself.

  8. Kris from Austin

    “Roberta? Ah … yes. What can I say? We’ve all had a Roberta in our lives, haven’t we?”

  9. Sandra P, Briz

    “Solange reminds me of an ex of mine. Great lover. Gorgeous woman. Just couldn’t keep up with her.”

  10. Curve Magazine

    “Saint-Clair’s social realist leanings have earned her work the reputation of “the thinking woman’s lesbian romance novelist.”

  11. All Things Lesbian Review of Silent Goodbyes by C.C. Saint-Clair
    Editorial by Admin, All Things Lesbian

    Now that things are getting back to normal around here, I wanted to re-post a review of Silent Goodbyes by C.C. Saint-Clair that was on the original forum. Like Trinity was able to strongly identify with Morgan, I was able to strongly identify with Emilie, the main character in this novel. I enjoyed the book so much that I’m now in the process of reading “Risking-Me” which is a sequel to Silent Goodbyes. Here’s the review:

    Lesbian fiction is a genre that I so rarely have the luxury of time to read these days, but I was pleasantly touched by C.C. Saint-Clair’s Silent Goodbyes. I found myself quickly turning the pages of this book partly set onboard a yacht sailing the Whitsunday Islands, somewhere off Australia, and was unable to put this romantic novel down. Saint-Clair gives us a realistic and honest portrayal of what it feels like to be in a lesbian relationship that is gradually unraveling. We experience the feelings and thoughts of Emilie first-hand as she begins to fall out of love with her lover, an experience that many of us have unfortunately had.

    The story primarily takes place in the mind of Emilie, a 46 year-old introverted, anxiety-ridden English teacher. As an introverted-borderline-anti-social person myself, I could really relate to the character of Emilie and appreciate the little nuances that go on in her mind.

    This is a very “mental” novel that exposes many of the little intricacies that subconsciously go on in a woman’s mind as she interacts with and observes others. It was startling to see such common, unconscious thoughts so skillfully put on paper as Saint-Clair does in this lesbian book.

    In this romantic lesbian story, readers are observers of the steady process that takes place in the gradual break-down of a long-term relationship. We experience Emilie’s emotional disappointments with her partner over time as the feel-good moments between the couple begin to dwindle. Emilie makes love to Solange, feeling that it is for the last time, a goodbye, on the bow of Star Gazer, a thirty-five-footer. In this highly erotic scene, the reader is given a treat of the senses as Emilie fantasizes about making love with Solange under the moonlight.

    It is easy for the reader to feel as if she were actually taking part in the slow, delicious foreplay that takes place on the gently rocking yacht at sea. When Emilie does actually prepare to approach her lover, there is no doubt as to what will soon take place between the two women. This highly sensual scene is just one of many in this wonderfully romantic novel.

    The reader travels along with Emilie’s thoughts and emotions as she ventures towards a new sensual, erotic beginning with a colleague. We have the delight of experiencing first-hand the delicious passion, romance, sexual desire and longing that are so common in a passionate, new romantic lesbian relationship. We are also “there” with Emilie up close and personal as she learns to deal with her insecurities and self-consciousness that are so common in a budding new romantic lesbian relationship.

    C.C. Saint-Clair has a wonderful gift of capturing introspective thoughts and sensual, erotic moments in lesbian literature. The reader is able to intimately feel both the pleasure and the emotional pain that are common in many relationships.

    I have been delighted to be introduced to the work of this lesbian author in Silent Goodbyes and am enthusiastically looking forward to reading Risking-Me, which is kind of a sequel.

    This novel has become one of my favorite lesbian books and my copy will live on my bookshelf where it will be available for a re-read at any time when I’m in the mood for a great romantic story.

    C.C. Saint-Clair has so kindly made a free downloadable version of Silent Goodbyes available on her website. Personally, I prefer to read the paperback book format that can easily be carried along anywhere.

    – Rhonda

    1. stargayzer

      Joined: 21 Feb 2005
      Posts: 6
      Location: Sydney, Australia

      Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:01 am Post subject: cc’s silent goodbyes
      I totally agree with your post Admin. I read Silent Goodbyes while doing the daily commutes to work and back [45 mins each way by train]. Just didn’t see time go by. i was on that sailboat. I was stargayzing onboard Emilie’s yacht – Stargayzer
      I thought Solange was quite a pain in the …. but I had a gf who was just as erratic as her – so I totally understood what Emilie was going through. But then again, I just loved the way Em fell in love with Roberta and their tender connection. So real to life, I couldn’t help sighing because … i’ve been there myself. Who hasn’t?That’s the strength of CC’s writing, I think, that ability to write ficition that’s so real and … involving of the senses. So … yeah Admin, I agree with you,Silent goodbyes is a great book
      Star gazing: great for the soul. Work hard – play hard – love hard: all great for the body.

      1. Rhonda

        Joined: 24 Mar 2005
        Posts: 9
        Location: Reno/Lake Tahoe area – Nevada (United States)

        Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 7:01 pm Post subject: Re: cc’s silent goodbyes
        stargayzer wrote:
        I thought Solange was quite a pain in the …. but I had a gf who was just as erratic as her – so I totally understood what Emilie was going through. But then again, I just loved the way Em fell in love with Roberta and their tender connection. So real to life, I couldn’t help sighing because … i’ve been there myself. Who hasn’t?
        That’s the strength of CC’s writing, I think, that ability to write ficition that’s so real and … involving of the senses. So … yeah Admin, I agree with you,Silent goodbyes is a great book
        Lol! Yeah, Solange was a major pain! Definitely a “high maintenance” kind of woman. It was really interesting to watch the “mental” progression of the relationship. I really enjoyed “being there” when Emilie was falling in love with Roberta. It can be a scary thing to fall in love – but so addicting at the same time. Call me a romance junkie, I guess
        All Things Lesbian – Directory For The Global Lesbian Community

    2. Trinity

      Site Admin
      Joined: 19 Jan 2005
      Posts: 129
      Location: Ohio

      Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 6:34 am Post subject: the tootsieroll pop
      The tootsieroll pop was very popular in the US (i am not sure of any other countries) There used to be a commercial on tv with an owl saying “how many licks does it take to get to the center of the tootsieroll pop?” Then he would lick it and count 1…2…3 and then you would hear a big crunch from him biting down on the lolly pop because he couldn’t wait to get to the center. It is one of my favorite commercials from when i was young. It was on a lot in the 80’s

      Check it out. Lesbian artist fighting with pride! and

    3. freefall

      Joined: 21 Mar 2005
      Posts: 3
      Location: Aberdeen, Scotland

      Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:18 am Post subject: back at you, Admin
      Admin, hi
      I’ve been watching this forum for a couple of weeks already and it looks like all of C.C. Saint-clair’s ATL readers have said their peace. All except me.
      Going by dates, it looks like you posted the 1st comment on Saint-clair. What a good idea, as this section of the forum is by far one of the most solid in terms of maturity and relevance of posts.

      My favourite moment in Silent Goodbyes is one of the boat scenes. The moon is low on its axis, the night is dark. No other boats are anchored nearby and Emilie imagines how she would make love to Solange if she walked up to her, where she is, lost in her own thought at the bow. But I’ve been toying with a bit of a review that I thought I might just post somewhere, but that was last year – and I still haven’t posted it anywhere and admittedly, I borrowed a couple of lines from other stuff that people have already written about her, but most of it is mine.

      Far From Maddy is C.C. Saint-Clair’s sixth novel and, in this novel as in all others, the sensuality of her writing captures both the sensual romanticism and the socio-political realism that underpin all her storylines – It’s all about the choices we make, as women of all ages, the risks we take, the emotional baggage we drag around, and whatever (un)resolved personal issues we have – in Saint-Clair’s plots, it all bubbles up to the surface.

      On the eve of twenty-two-year-old Jo’s intended move in with her lover, Maddy, in urban, working-class Australia, Jo simply vanishes. So begins the strange tale of her self-determined disappearance and Maddy’s desperate search to find her.

      In her hand, Maddy still held the bracelet found there amongst Jo’s belongings. She straightened her shoulders to allow more air to fill her lungs. The leather knot that she had tied on the underside of Jo’s wrist that night, some three months earlier, was still intact, tight and secure, but one of its ends was severed from the braid. Maddy brought the band to her lips.

      The sweaty saltiness of it against her nose, the tiny patch of salty leather under the tip of her tongue hit her like a door in the middle of a sleepwalker’s path. Jo’s face, bigger than life, exploded behind her eyes.

      Jo, with her grunge hair cut that spilled, shiny and black over her pale forehead, over her grey eyes. Jo’s aquiline nose. Jo’s smile that creased the corners of her mouth instead of turning them upwards. Every detail was there, too large, too alive, far too unreal for Maddy to accommodate inside her heart.

      Dazed but with the automated motions of the undead, Maddy had eventually driven back towards Brisbane.

      [In case it’s legally needed here] Copyright © by C.C.Saint-Clair 2003

      The focus of Far From Maddy is the impact on a young girl’s psyche of emotional abuse at the hand of a loving but unhinged mother who resorts to self-administered euthanasia. And that’s combined with the current urban issue of young people who prefer to live rough in the streets rather than struggle inside dysfunctional families and pretend and compromise just for the sake of a bed and 4 walls around them when they’re asleep.

      Young people, some enough to still be kids, others barely out of their teens, like Jo, choose homelessness as a life option and Saint-Clair is alerting us to the reality that their choice isn’t really a choice at all. Their decision to live in the streets, parks and bus shelters stems from a quiet desperation. Too many of our disenfranchised youth have run out of choices.

      And in Far From Maddy, it’s a young dyke’s life that’s at risk.

      Saint-Clair’s unique writing style – layered sensuality blended with gritty realism, vividly describes the complex, emotional and psychological landscape that lurks just below the surface, and yet, Saint-Clair’s novels still fall in the category of sensual lesbian romance novels.

      The only “problem” with Far From Maddy, if you’re a fan of Saint-Clair’s makes-you-wet-on impact sexy scenes, is that there aren’t as many of her trademark moments of hot electric lust, as in all her other novels. One reason, I guess, is that Jo, Maddy’s lover, is AWOL for most of the novel.

      So this explains that though Christen would’ve certainly welcome more, much more of Maddy’s time and touch.

      If other forum users are not familiar with Saint-clair’s site but they like a lot of quality free extracts – sexy, sensual, erotic and relevant to our queer culture – there’s a lot to browse. She even has a 4playWords sections.
      I think she’s got one per book on

      That’s if you manage to get past the amazing torso on her homepage. Extremely sensual, barely wrapped in sheer shades of electric lavender and pink

      Nice sharing with you Admin and cheers to you all,

      Life’s but a game of pinball. We are the ball. Once ejected into the world, we bounce from pillar to post, sometimes cushioned, sometimes not. The sure thing is that sooner or later, we end up in the hole. c.c. saint-clair

    4. NotAshamed

      Joined: 25 Mar 2005
      Posts: 11

      Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 7:03 am Post subject:
      LOL HouseofMuses
      I like the reference to the tootsie pop! As for her website. Yes…i too have been stuck there watching and pondering the screen for a second or two….ok maybe a minute or two. ha ha She is very effective with her website and writing. Dang that woman is talented!

      Newsflash- I’m a lesbian. Yeah bet you didn’t know!

    5. kali

      Joined: 10 Mar 2005
      Posts: 3
      Location: Brisbane, Australia

      Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:18 pm Post subject: Silent Goodbyes
      What’s this Tootsie-Roll Tootsie Pop?? an iceblock? icecream? I’m certainly old enough to remember the 60s, but I guess it is/was an American thing?
      Just to make you drool (maybe even more than you do over the pink banner ‘torso’ on CC’s site), I have an author-signed copy of Silent Goodbyes – so for those of you who live in Briz, if you want all your copies of C C Saint-Clair’s novels signed by the author herself, get along to C C Saint-Clair’s ‘meet the author’ at McGills bookshop in Brisbane on Saturday 9 April (2005) at 2pm.
      Originally Indian goddess of creation and destruction, now living in Australia

    6. houseofmuses

      Joined: 17 Feb 2005
      Posts: 28
      Location: Vine Grove, KY

      Posted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 8:09 am Post subject: Common description of CC’s website
      More and more I’m reading this common phrase in this forum: “…if you manage to get past the amazing torso on her homepage. Extremely sensual, barely wrapped in sheer shades of electric lavender and pink…”
      C.C. has more than managed her goal, then, if we can’t even get past her website. I wonder how many licks it takes to get to the center of …………..

      For those of you who are too young to remember, that’s a take-off on the old 60’s commercial, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie-Roll Tootsie Pop? Let’s find out….”

      We are SO gay…. Just wanted to share that observation with you girls.

      * Pam Harrison – Writer’s Software and Resources
      * *

    7. senji

      Joined: 14 Feb 2005
      Posts: 15
      Location: Manchester

      Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:27 am Post subject: Kali:C.C’s book signing
      The only book I don’t have is North and Left [TakeII] though I have C.C’s first version of North. I’ll be @ Mc Gills nice & early to get Take II. First row. I bet that if anyone comes to argue me out of the best seat, it’ll probably be you Tell you right now though, you won’t stand a chance
      need not met becomes greed.

  12. Madeleine G, Sorrento

    “C.C.’s first person, reflective narrative style intimately links the reader to Emilie and her mind-meanders.”

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