Orhan's Inheritance

Orhan's Inheritance

A Novel

Book - 2015
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They found him inside one of seventeen cauldrons in the courtyard, steeping in an indigo dye two shades darker than the summer sky. His arms and chin were propped over the copper edge, but the rest of Kemal Türkoglu, age ninety-three, had turned a pretty pale blue.

When Orhan's brilliant and eccentric grandfather, who built a dynasty out of making kilim rugs, is found dead in a vat of dye, Orhan inherits the decades-old business. But his grandfather's will raises more questions than it answers. Kemal has left the family estate to a stranger thousands of miles away, an aging woman in a retirement home in Los Angeles. Her existence and secrecy about her past only deepen the mystery of why Orhan's grandfather would have left their home to this woman rather than to his own family.

Intent on righting this injustice, Orhan boards a plane to Los Angeles. There, over many meetings, he will unearth the story that eighty-seven-year-old Seda so closely guards--the story that, if told, has the power to undo the legacy upon which Orhan's family is built, the story that could unravel Orhan's own future.

Moving between the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the 1990s, Orhan's Inheritance is a story of passionate love, unspeakable horrors, incredible resilience, and the hidden stories that haunt a family.

"A remarkable debut from an important new voice . . . Beautiful and terrible and, finally, indelible." --Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Queen of America

"To take the tumultuous history of Turks and Armenians in the early part of the past century, to tell the stories of families and lovers from the small everyday moments of life to the terrible journeys of death, to make a novel so engrossing and keep us awake--that is an accomplishment, and Aline Ohanesian's first novel is such a wonderful accomplishment." --Susan Straight, author of Highwire Moon

"From its first startling image, Orhan's Inheritance will seep under your skin and leave an indelible mark upon your heart. What lucky readers we are to inherit Aline Ohanesian's gorgeous work." --Gayle Brandeis, author of Delta Girls

"Readers who were moved by the work of Carol Edgarian, Mark Mustian, and Nancy Kricorian will appreciate the historical authenticity and passion that Aline Ohanesian brings to this story of the Armenian Genocide. Orhan's Inheritance is heartfelt and sincere."  --Chris Bohjalian, author of The Sandcastle Girls

"A harrowing tale of unimaginable sacrifice . . . A novel that delves into the darkest corners of human history and emerges with a tenuous sense of hope." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2015.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781616203740
Characteristics: 340 pages :,map


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GSPLanna Nov 18, 2016

A great read for fans of historical fiction on a topic not frequently discussed.

SPL_Shauna Apr 17, 2016

Fans of family epics and historical fiction will find lots to love in this lush, striking debut novel.

Scion of a rug making family, Orhan struggles to figure out why the family home has been left to a woman in Los Angeles know one knows after the death of his grandfather. The journey he takes to find the answer unearths a dark, brutal history rooted in the darkest days of the end of the Ottoman empire. Trigger warnings definitely apply: The answer takes a brutal tour through the Armenian genocide, told through the eyes of a few young children.

The generations' plot lines are woven together masterfully and in a way that moves the heart-stopping plot quickly; the horrors of the genocide are told in language that is direct and brutal, but not gory. Orhan's Inheritance is highly recommended to fans of historical fiction, family sagas and especially to those interested in the history of Turkey.

Mar 20, 2016

I had checked this book out from the library on my Kindle. Sadly, it was checked in before I finished it. I put it on hold and again and two months later when I was able to finish it, the book was still imprinted in my memory so strongly that I was able to pick up right where I left off. I knew nothing about the Armenian genocide in Turkey before I read this. Not only is a story of the annihilation of a people and the cruelty ethnic groups can inflict on others, in this case because of religion, it is the story of the strength required to stay alive, the need to do things you have to forget to continue living. First time author, Aline Ohanesian, makes the story of Orhan who discovers the history of his family as he flies from Turkey to California to discover why his father left the family home to an old lady no one knew. The author has created strong writing in the story of a people who were forced to flee. I kept thinking about the Syrians now and that if there is one thing in which war and excel it is the creation of refuges, who did nothing to bring on their forced migration or more often death. This story is as powerful as Kite Runners (Hosseini) in telling the story of persecuted people.

Dec 12, 2015

Beautiful writing surrounding a stunningly horrific historical event (Armenian genocide) that I hadn't even heard of until reading this book, which makes this debut novel all the more important.

rere3 Sep 12, 2015

A wonderful read. This author draws you in and takes you on a journey of remembrance and redemption OR does she?
I am glad I met these people, Seda/Lucien especially. Unknowingly I have passed "her" in the streets or subways. My loss.

Aug 18, 2015

A surprisingly fast-paced and absorbing story that weaves together the meeting of a Turkish and Armenian family in the present with their linked history during the Armenian genocide. You'd expect a book on this topic to be depressing, but Ohanesian both makes you feel the full horror of what happened and grounds the history in optimism and redemption, imagining a way for Turks and Armenians to move forward together. Treating all her characters with compassion, she considers the perils of both refusing to recognize the past and refusing to forget it. Suspenseful short chapters make it a very fast read, but I learned a lot.

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