Author: M.O. Walsh
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Book Description: What would you do if you knew your life’s potential? That’s the question facing the residents of Deerfield, Louisiana, when the DNAMIX machine appears in their local grocery store. It’s nothing to look at, really–it resembles a plain photo booth. But its promise is amazing: With just a quick swab of your cheek and two dollars, the device claims to use the science of DNA to tell you your life’s potential. With enough credibility to make the townspeople curious, soon the former teachers, nurses, and shopkeepers of Deerfield are abruptly changing course to pursue their destinies as magicians, cowboys, and athletes–including the novel’s main characters, Douglas Hubbard and his wife, Cherilyn, who both believed they were perfectly happy until they realized they could dream for more…
Written with linguistic grace and a sense of wonder, The Big Door Prize sparkles with keen observations about what it might mean to stay true to oneself while honoring the bonds of marriage, friendship, and community, and how the glimmer of possibility can pull these bonds apart, bring them back together, and make second chances possible, even under the strangest of circumstances.
Rating: 3.75 Stars
Review: The Big Door Prize was a surprising read for me. I think I had low expectations but really enjoyed it a lot. Set in a Louisiana town that receives a DNAMIX machine that with a quick swab of your cheek will tell you your potential and/or station
You can imagine what happens to this town. People reevaluate their jobs, their marriages and families. For most townspeople I felt there was just silliness, like your job should be a magician. For the people this story centers around this poses real big questions. Douglas Hubbard is a beloved teacher who is asked to become principal, his wife who thinks she is meant to be royal, and Jacob (Hubbard’s student) who recently lost his twin brother.
This is more of a story of relationships and when presented with an opportunity to change your life, would you jump on the chance to do it and how does it affect the people you love and care about. I think this is potentially a great book club pick. I think the questions you will have, will lead to amazing discussion. This is a unique story, that I will think about often.
Thank you NetGalley and G.P. Putnam’s Sons for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.