Book Reviews

Book Review: Orhan’s Inheritance

When Orhan’s brilliant and eccentric grandfather dies, he bequeathed only the decades-old vertically integrated business to his grandson, and the family homer to a strange woman living in an Armenian retirement home in California.

Orhan travels to California in an attempt to get the lady to sign documents declaring that she would not acknowledge that bequest.

The author has spent considerable effort and time to research the subject, discovering the atrocities committed by the Ottoman government. In the now well publicized and lamentable 1915 Genocide of one-and-a-half million innocent Armenians who lived and thrived for centuries in what is now Turkey, she explains the details of “death marches” in lurid detail.
Aline Ohanesian describes masterfully only a small part of the first genocide of the 20th century, but neglects to mention that the idea of this shameful event originated in the minds of German officers involved in reforming the Ottoman army.

They suggested to Ottoman officials that Armenians could form the enemy within. The details of this genocide are unbelievable and horrifying in their cruelty, and reveal how officials behaved towards innocent children and women.

It was planned in painstaking detail to ultimately take over all Armenian property, eradicate the nation, and giving all wealth to peasants who had no idea about farming and essentially were illiterate.
It should be mentioned that Ottoman sultans appointed several Armenians as finance ministers when the economy was in recession, and after the crisis was over they were summarily dismissed or simply disappeared.

Orhan’s inheritance is a wonderful, historical, touching, engaging story, full of powerful characters.

The narrative is beautifully wrought, and written by a talented writer who possesses not only a god-given talent, but combines it with research and clear style.

Orhan’s Inheritance should be a required reading text for high-school students al over the world to make sure that no genocide ever occurs anywhere.

The most disturbing fact remains that 100 years after this horrible “relocation” the Turkish governments still deny that it happened. It was meticulously planned and executed by Talat pasha despite objections of many foreign ambassadors and missionaries on location.

Henry Morgenthaler, the American ambassador in Ottoman times, intervened repeatedly to no avail.

The author has conceived the novel to expose these events effectively.

Highly recommended.

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