Orhan’s Inheritance

Orhan’s Inheritance

By: Aline Ohanesian

Review by: Shahnaz

Tragic human stories of greed under different titles of religion, land, country, resources, and freedom happen every day. This is one of them, which takes place in two time periods, 75 years apart and across two continents, old and new. We all have heard about the tragic Armenian death walks from Turkey’s northern region to the Syrian desert, under the label of displacements. Just looking at the map gives one a dizzying feeling, let alone walking it, in hard, hot weather, with no food or comforting rest, mostly women and children who were guided by violent guards. We all have read about it, but what I found in this new book is looking on this tragedy from a different angle – human common emotions of love, hate, power, and suffering.

This is a story about forbidden love, which results in higher human feelings of foreignness and generosity with sacrifice and a completely unexpected ending. The story is written in a simple, readable style for a historically tragic novel. The book left a deep mark on my memory by taking me deep into the history of the Armenian deportations from Turkey. It was greed, jealously, and a show of power one wonders why? But it happens every day today, to humans, like birds without wings, forced to migrate with no land to land on.

We always refer to PTSD as a soldiers disease, but what about regular civilians and children who suffer displacement and harsh, cruel attacks, and the mistreatment of women and girls. The innocent , forbidden love plays throughout the book and shapes the characters’ destiny for 75 years. Taking the tragic part of the history between Turks and Armenians and making such a moving, loving, suffering story of it with such an unexpected ending, is an art of writing to read, cry, and laugh with its characters.

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This review is part of Book Your Summer, our 2017 Adult Summer Reading program.