American Inheritance: A Novel


A young socialist gets the chance to earn a multimillion-dollar inheritance from the conservative grandfather he’s never met, but to do so, he must complete a cross-country road trip designed to alter his cynical view of America.

Tom Brock is a twenty-five-year-old democratic socialist. He is an unemployed graduate student with a mountain of student loan debt. He loathes America for being a corrupt, oppressive, unjust failure that he blames on the white patriarchy and red-state Americans.

Tom’s grandfather, Bob, is a widower, a Vietnam War veteran, and a diehard conservative. Bob is a wealthy entrepreneur and passionate defender of the American dream. He loves America and loathes the morally bankrupt blue-state progressives he thinks are ruining it.

Tom and Bob have never met each other.

But when Bob becomes aware of his grandson’s radical politics, he offers him an unusual opportunity to earn a $25 million inheritance: Tom must complete a marathon cross-country road trip in his grandfather’s old RV, following an itinerary designed by Bob as a last-ditch effort to alter his grandson’s cynical view of America.

Desperate to earn the inheritance, Tom embarks on Bob’s curated grand tour of historic sites and natural wonders, stubbornly resisting his grandfather’s lessons touting America’s virtues. But as the journey progresses, Tom’s deeply held worldview is tested by the people and places he encounters along the way—especially by a young British woman who becomes his fortuitous traveling companion. The challenges and conversations of the quirky road trip begin to reshape Tom’s ingrained assumptions about America’s—and his own—past, present, and future.