Orhan's Inheritance (Hardcover)
April 2015 Indie Next List
“Debut author Ohanesian's historical novel relives the nearly forgotten tragedy of the Armenian genocide during and after WWI. Through deportations, massacres, and executions of Christian and Jewish Armenians, the Ottoman Empire and its successors eliminated 1.5 million citizens. Ohanesian's beautifully written book shares a tale of passionate love, unspeakable horror, incredible strength, and the hidden stories that haunt a family. Highly recommended.”
— Doug Robinson, Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, GA
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 Turkoglu, 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
“Unforgettable.” —Library Journal, Editor's Pick
“[An] impressive debut novel . . . Such sorrow in Ohanesian’s hands is not a heavy burden for the reader. Through the beauty and humanity of her central characters, the story transcends suffering . . . ‘A white day sheds light; a dark day sheds darkness,’ Orhan tells Seda on his first visit. Ohanesian’s novel is that ‘white day.’” —The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“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
“A remarkable debut from an important new voice.” —Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Queen of America
“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