John DeSimone’s ‘The Road to Delano’ is a Novel to Savor [REVIEW]


Sometimes our dreams must take a back seat to the greater good. (Photo courtesy Canva)

A high school athlete. A failing vineyard. The shocking revelation that will alter the course of a family’s life forever. In John DeSimone’s new novel, The Road to Delano is paved with the kind of challenges that transform a boy into a man.


Rare Bird Books

His dad is dead. His mother may be hiding something. And the family property is about to be sold to the highest bidder. But teenager Jack Duncan has a plan to get out of Delano, the little agricultural town where he resides, a community fraught withe political turmoil. He’s going to college where he’ll play baseball like his life depends on it.

Before he goes, however, he takes an old combine to town to try to sell it and save the family homestead. What he finds along the way, though, is the truth behind his father’s suspicious death. His dad’s death wasn’t just tragic. It was murder! And now armed with new information, he’s bent on uncovering the corruption that saturates California’s Central Valley.

When his girlfriend warns him to steer clear and think about his future, he turns to his best friend, Adrian, whose own father works closely with Cesar Chavez, the American labor leader who helped co-found the National Farm Workers Association. But the plan they hatch lands them in hot water, and Jack must now rescue his friend and his family before they can escape Delano for good.

The Road to Delano is a story of self-discovery, tragedy, corruption, greed, despair, sacrifice, and hope. It challenges us to be better people than we are, even in the face of incomprehensible odds. It also pushes us to utilize our lives the best way we can, to make a difference, not just in our own lives, but in that of others.

Its altruism will resonate with fans of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird and its exploration of agricultural communities and their challenges will evoke memories of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Like those classics, this is a tale filled with good people in bad situations, and through fiction relates an important chapter of history that many may have overlooked, highlighting the vital role people like Cesar Chavez played in bringing justice where there was none.

If you love getting lost in the pages of a story that is as juicy as a basket of ripe grapes, DeSimone’s The Road to Delano offers a delicious story readers will savor. This is the kind of fiction that speaks to our thirst for justice and compassion, and lingers in our minds long after the last page is turned.

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John DeSimone

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.

To find out more about the author, visit him online at, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

By John DeSimone
320 pp. Rare Bird Books. $26.

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase The Road to Delano at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

The Road to Delano is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

3 Responses to John DeSimone’s ‘The Road to Delano’ is a Novel to Savor [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: John DeSimone, author of The Road to Delano, on tour March 2020 | TLC Book Tours

  2. Sara Strand says:

    I love the comparison of The Grapes of Wrath and To Kill a Mockingbird because when I first read the description of this book those two came to mind as the same kind of story. I love that you also made the connection and perhaps fans of those literary classics will enjoy this one as well. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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