Orhan Pamuk does not hold back. In his seventh novel, Snow, the Turkish author addresses Love, Religion, Politics, and many other big-letter themes as he dissects the ideologies that threaten his native land. Ka, a 42-year-old poet who has not written in many years, returns to Turkey after years of political exile. Ostensibly there for his mother’s funeral, Ka journeys to the border town of Kars to investigate a rash of suicides by Muslim girls banned from school for wearing their head scarves, while also planning to convince Ipek, an old crush, to run away with him. A proxy for Turkey itself, Ka is torn between Islam and atheism as he experiences a streak of poetic inspiration he attributes to God. Crammed with empathetic characters fervent in their beliefs, Snow abounds with political intrigue while remaining lushly tragic at heart.