Friday, May 29, 2020

Review: Road to Delano

The Road to Delano by John DeSimone
Hispanic American Historical Fiction

Jack Duncan is a high school senior whose dream is to play baseball in college and beyond―as far away from Delano as possible. He longs to escape the political turmoil surrounding the labor struggles of the striking fieldworkers that infests his small ag town. Ever since his father, a grape grower, died under suspicious circumstances ten years earlier, he’s had to be the sole emotional support of his mother, who has kept secrets from him about his father’s involvement in the ongoing labor strife.

With their property on the verge of a tax sale, Jack drives an old combine into town to sell it so he and his mother don’t become homeless. On the road, an old friend of his father’s shows up and hands him the police report indicating Jack’s father was murdered. Jack is compelled to dig deep to discover the entire truth, which throws him into the heart of the corruption endemic in the Central Valley. Everything he has dreamed of is at stake if he can’t control his impulse for revenge.

While Jack’s girlfriend, the intelligent and articulate Ella, warns him not to so anything to jeopardize their plans of moving to L.A., after graduation, Jack turns to his best friend, Adrian, a star player on the team, to help to save his mother’s land. When Jack’s efforts to rescue a stolen piece of farm equipment leaves Adrian―the son of a boycotting fieldworker who works closely with Cesar Chavez―in a catastrophic situation, Jack must bail his friend out of his dilemma before it ruins his future prospects. Jack uses his wits, his acumen at card playing, and his boldness to raise the money to spring his friend, who has been transformed by his jail experience.

The Road to Delano is the path Jack, Ella, and Adrian must take to find their strength, their duty, their destiny. 

out of 5 fairies

The Road to Delano is full of vivid imagery and emotion. This definitely isn't a light afternoon read, but it is a must-read for anyone who is interested in historical fiction. Set in very tumultuous times, you're pulled in from the first page. It's like watching a movie unfold as you read. Jack is a compelling main character whose determination to find the truth and loyalty to those he cares about will stay with you long after you close the book.

Where to buy: Amazon

Add to your TBR list: Goodreads

About the Author: John DeSimone was born in Santa Monica and lives in the Los Angeles area. He is the author of the novel Leonardo's Chair, and co-authors and ghostwrites memoirs. While he writes fiction by night, by day he works with individuals turning their stories into compelling memoirs. Enjeela Ahmadi Millers, The Broken Circle, and Dr. Raana Mahmood's, The Courage to Say No, are two memoirs of late. He is a bibliophile, a constant reader, a regular writer, and typically can be found at an area coffee shop working at his craft.

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