Orhan's Inheritance

Orhan's Inheritance

A Novel

Book - 2016
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In her extraordinary debut, Aline Ohanesian has created two remarkable characters - a young man ignorant of his families and his country's past, and an old woman haunted by the toll the past has taken on her life. When Orhan's brilliant and eccentric grandfather Kemal is found dead, submerged in a vat of dye, Orhan inherits the decades-old business. He has left the family estate to a stranger thousands of miles away, an aging woman in an Armenian retirement home in Los Angeles. Her existence and secrecy about her past only deepen the mystery of why Orhan's grandfather willed his home in Turkey to an unknown woman rather than to his own son or grandson.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina :, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill,, 2016
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781616205300
Characteristics: 351 pages :,map ;,21 cm.

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LPL_KateG Oct 12, 2018

Great book club read for fans of impactful historical fiction and family sagas. The Turkish–Armenian relations, and subsequent Armenian culture in the U.S., were not subjects I was very familiar with but I've learned a lot from this lyrically written novel!

l
lilypad_1
Feb 28, 2018

This is a great read and for those of you who really like history you will learn a lot about the Turkish genocide of Armenians in the First World War. It really was a bloody tragedy and the US won't acknowledge it to this day. This is a less gory recount than what I have read and seen before. The characters are fascinating, it is a little hard to keep track of the generations.

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.

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brangwinn
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.

v
vv8
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.

l
lostintheshelves
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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