This one started off great for me. The storyline was interesting and a mystery was promised. Unfortunately that only lasted the first 100 pages. Snow is the story of a poet, Ka, who returns to his native home in Turkey after being politically exiled in Germany for several years. He returns to Turkey in order to report on a wave of suicides of teenage girls who are forbidden to wear their headscarves. Sounds fascinating, right?
The story about the suicide girls quickly falls to the background while Ka’s relationship with Ipek, a woman who may or may not love him depending on her fickle mood, comes to the foreground. Also at the foreground is a political coup in which Ka becomes entangled mostly because of his western ties. While the political coup had a lot of potential, the plot was sometimes confusing and very anticlimatic. A great story was there, ready to be written, but it never seemed to come together. Too much emphasis was placed on Ka and Ipek’s strange love affair and Ka’s poetry, which was spoken about at great length but never expressed in the novel. I have heard such great things about Pamuk’s other work, that I am really disappointed that I disliked this one as much as I did. Plus, the narrator is not a character but still intrudes in the plot; the narrator retraces Ka’s footsteps and interviews the other characters in order to piece together the story–very contrived–very much a pet-peeve of mine.