Title: Orhan’s Inheritance
Author: Aline Ohanesian
Read Harder Challenge: Yes – A book set more than 5,000 miles from my current location.
Star Review: ♥ ♥ ♥ /5
Why:A young man comes back to his home in rural Turkey to bury his beloved grandfather. When the will is read, the house that they all care deeply for is left to a woman whose name no one appears to have ever heard before. Orhan travels to California in the USA to meet this woman and get her to sign the house over to his family so that they don’t fall apart in the black hole left behind by his grandfather. As they speak, secrets are revealed and the past comes into focus, much as all of the characters attempt to keep it out.
This book tried very hard to be relevant and in keeping with the zeitgeist when it comes to these types of books. It reminded me very much stylistically and in some ways content-wise of Khaled Hosseini’s books and any of a number of literary fiction books set in Europe during Nazi Germany’s rise and fall. This book explores ideas of identity, forgiveness, memory, and loss. In particular, this one tells the story of a forbidden romance between a Turk and an Armenian. It felt like it may have been more relevant as a story a few years back, and this may just generally be my ignorance – but isn’t Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks not an accepted fact nowadays?
Regardless, stylistically there were moments of brilliance in the writing of this tale. The main frame of the story itself I had guessed early on. Overall, I wouldn’t re-read it, but I’m not upset that I read it in the first place. I’d recommend it to folks that like the works of Khaled Hosseini or enjoyed All the Light We Cannot See, for instance.