Happy Tuesday all!
Delighted to share with you today this compelling story they gave me a lot to think about. 🚜
A compelling story about an often forgotten part of history. John Desimone has skillfully captured time and place with his descriptive storytelling. 1968 the California central valley Jack is a high school senior determined to earn a baseball scholarship and make it out of his small town. Things have been hard for Jack and his mother after the death of his father. Resolute to save the farm Jack heads to town to sell some farm equipment when he runs across one of his fathers old friends who shares with Jack some information that his father was murdered. Jack wants justice for his father, but in pursuing it he gets his friend Adrian arrested. Will Jack be able to solve his father’s murder and save his friend from prosecution? Will he ever make it out of Delano or is this is destiny?
A well told, well researched genre potpourri . A little historical fiction, a little mystery, a little coming-of-age. Jack was a great character, an all American boy I could definitely get behind. I liked how Cesar Chavez, the labor struggle, and the striking field workers were infused into the story. It was interesting and disturbing how crooked and violent things got involving these labor disputes. I felt for the small town, for Jack, for his mother Shirley, and for Adrian. A captivating thought-provoking story that made me more aware of an important piece of our history.
This book in emojis ⚾️ 🚜 ☀️ 👨🏾🌾
*** Big thank you to the publisher for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: Rare Bird Books (March 10, 2020)
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.
About John DeSimone
John DeSimone is a published writer, novelist, and teacher. He’s been an adjunct professor and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. His recent co-authored books include Broken Circle: A Memoir of Escaping Afghanistan (Little A Publishers), and Courage to Say No by Dr. Raana Mahmood, about her struggles against sexual exploitation as a female physician in Karachi. His published novel Leonardo’s Chair published in 2005.
In 2012, he won a prestigious Norman Mailer Fellowship to complete his most recent historical novel, Road to Delano. His novels Leonardo’s Chair and No Ordinary Man have received critical recognition.
He works with select clients to write stories of inspiration and determination and with those who have a vital message to bring to the marketplace of ideas in well-written books.