Carla Croft’s Miyuki: The Silence of Deep Snow, published 2013, is beautifully written, a work of contemplative art, like a Japanese tea ceremony but instead of tea the focus is Miyuki. Carla Croft, the author, is the participant in the ceremony, observing the details, seeing and seeking what is revealed and what is concealed. Each chapter has its own focus, a sense of completion that makes me want to close the book and reflect. Intense.
I stared at the emptiness on the carpet in front of me, the space Miyuki had filled only a second ago. The space and I clung to the memory of her, holding on to her presence for as long as we could.
The story itself is less seductive than the writing. The narrator’s fascination with Miyuki isn’t easily shared, and her antagonism towards Miyuki’s mistress is an additional barrier for the reader. The narrator’s initially negative assessment of the D/s relationship is a further frustration. I felt like a foreign intruder on an intimate scenario – which may well have been the author’s intention: the reader becomes a fourth character in the book, a voyeur on Carla’s voyeurism.
Ultimately I love the Japanese themes and the quality of the writing is excellent, but my continuing frustration with Carla-the-narrator (as opposed to Carla-the-author) and her inability to understand the dominance-submission dynamic makes it difficult to enjoy the eroticism. The dishonesty of her motivation in being there – a very partial observer – and the unclear sense of infidelity towards her husband also detract from the eroticism.