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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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 t…

Orhan’s Inheritance

by Aline Ohanesian

Overall Book Review:

Articulate and moving, Orhan’s Inheritance is Aline Ohanesian’s debut novel. This powerful historical fiction travels back and forth between the decline and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the 1990s. The novel’s historical events may be unknown to readers in the Western world, but Ohanesian provides a compelling narrative that weaves together the hardships in both past and present Turkey.

Orhan’s Inheritance is great not only for its sweeping plot, but for its strength of characters. The tale follows intelligent Lucine, an Armenian, and kind-hearted Kemal, a Turk, as their lives are torn apart by the hardships and trauma in the region. Their journey, as well as the struggle of the next generation, will deeply resonate with readers. Orhan’s Inheritance is an impressive and well-written read. 

Review of Advance Review Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Algonquin Books

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  7 religious exclamations, 18 mild obscenities, 2 religious profanities, 14 derogatory names, 12 scatological words, 4 anatomical terms, 1 offensive hand gesture and 9 f-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  A few verbal threats; secondhand report of violence involving war, rebellions and torture; several scenes of brief violence involving battles, fistfights, and whippings; a few non-detailed scenes of violent death including political executions, murder, sniper fire and trampling by animals; a brief scene of blood and gore as a pregnant woman’s stomach is cut open; a brief scene of attempted rape of a minor; a brief scene with few details of rape between an adult and a minor.

Sex/Nudity  A few incidents of kissing; a brief scene of nudity as women and children bathe at a bathhouse; a few sexual references; several implied or reported incidents of sexual activity involving masturbation and rape; use of pornography; a few brief scenes of sexual activity between adults and minors without explicit detail; a brief scene of attempted rape of a minor; a brief scene with few details of rape between an adult and a minor. 

Mature Subject Matter:

Prostitution, stealing, religious persecution, war, genocide, abandonment, death of family member, rape, kidnapping, references to pornography and masturbation.  

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Characters frequently smoke and drink. 

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.