Thomas Shelbourne is raised in a New York orphanage. His mother doesn’t know who his father is and chooses a name at random for the birth certificate. When Thomas grows up, he traces his surname back to the Revolutionary War and finds out that George III made the man he thinks is his ancestor, an Anglo-American carpenter, King of America in an attempt to avoid the revolution. However, the rich aristocrats in the colonies wouldn’t accept a carpenter as king and Thomas now feels he’s been
cheated of his birthright.
Thomas works as a chauffeur for rich ‘aristocratic’ families whom he hates (A British family called Rolle-Hampole with Hollywood connections, and an Austro/Jewish family called Rosenweig with Wall Street/Network TV connections). He has two affairs which result in two children being born – a boy from one family and a girl from the other. Thomas grows rich himself through illegal means and he becomes a very powerful, sinister man. He ruins the families he used to work for, by way of
revenge for his ancestor.
Thomas wants an heir, a boy who he can make ‘King of America’ with the money and power he now has. He brings his impoverished ‘aristocratic’ son and daughter, Redfield Rolle-Hampole and Rachel Rosenweig, together and promises them a large estate, FOREVERLAND, in New Jersey, if they can produce a son. Redfield and Rachel don’t know they’re half brother and sister and Thomas reckons the heir will have his genes from both sides. He’s unconcerned that the boy may have some impairment because of the closeness of the parents’ blood.
Redfield and Rachel fail to produce an heir and time is running out, when a Gypsy couple, Girondo and Lola, camp on the estate. Rachel (a cynical agnostic) has an affair with Girondo (a Sunni Muslim) and Lola (a Sufi Mystic) has an affair with Redfield (a Christian Evangelist) and two sons are conceived.
Thomas Shelbourne has other secrets, including an African son from a liaison with a tribal princess while he was making his illegal fortune on that continent and there’s an old vendetta with a private detective. Both of these people turn up to complicate the situation, along with a schizophrenic gamekeeper and an enigmatic backpacker.
The two sons turn out to be identical twins and they get accidentally mixed up, so that nobody can tell one from the other. This has the effect of thwarting Thomas’ plans and of having FOREVERLAND inherited by both boys’ legal parents.
Foreverland is a satirical and blackly comic novel which, although it’s set in America, will definitely have international appeal and could, with the right marketing, cross over from “literary” to “commercial” fiction.