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Literature & Fiction

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (15 votes)

Released: 2015-04-07

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Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian


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

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Editoral Review

An Amazon Best Book of April 2015: “Places and things stay with us, and sometimes we stay with them.” Remembering the past can be a tricky business and for those who experienced dark times in history the memories they may most want to forget are the very ones that future generations insist that they share. Orhan’s Inheritance begins in a small village in Turkey, with the death of a patriarch, Kemal, who bequeaths the family home to a woman his heirs have never heard of. Kemal’s grandson, Orhan, finds her across the world in a home for elderly Armenians and their meeting leads to a long buried account of two people deeply in love, torn apart by war and terrible sacrifice. Aline Ohanesian’s debut novel is rich in emotion and its roots run deep and wide, tapping into a largely neglected time in Turkish history, spanning decades, and honoring the resilience of the human spirit. –Seira Wilson

Book Details

Author: Aline Ohanesian Publisher: Algonquin Books Binding: Hardcover Language: English Pages: 352

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