Date Published: September 8, 2020

The Big Door Prize: Summary

What if a machine could reveal your life's true potential? In M.O. Walsh's "The Big Door Prize," this intriguing premise unfolds in the small, unassuming town of Deerfield, Louisiana. Here, the lives of the townsfolk are upended when a mysterious machine, the DNAMIX, appears at the local grocery store. This device claims to predict each person's true potential, causing a stir of excitement, skepticism, and introspection among the residents.

The story deftly weaves through the perspectives of various townspeople, each grappling with their own desires, regrets, and aspirations. At the heart of this ensemble is the couple, Douglas and Cherilyn Hubbard. Douglas, a high school teacher, is content with his life until the DNAMIX suggests he's cut out for a grander, more adventurous existence. This revelation sends him on a path of self-discovery, challenging his notions of satisfaction and success.

Cherilyn, on the other hand, finds herself questioning her own life choices and the fabric of her marriage. The machine's influence extends to other characters as well, such as the ambitious young Jacob, who dreams of a life beyond the confines of Deerfield, and Dr. Winthrop, the town's veterinarian, who harbors a secret passion for poetry.

"The Big Door Prize" is a poignant exploration of identity, ambition, and the complex tapestry of human life. It delves into how the pursuit of unrealized dreams and the allure of potential can disrupt the stability of an otherwise quiet community. With humor, heart, and a keen eye for the quirks of small-town life, Walsh crafts a narrative that is both deeply human and whimsically magical.

Spoilers (click here to reveal spoilers)

Buy this book on

The Big Door Prize

Author: M.O. Walsh

Date Published: September 8, 2020

Support Us: By purchasing through our Amazon link, we earn as an Amazon Associate. Thank you for your support!

The Big Door Prize: Genres

Literary Fiction
Magical Realism
Contemporary Fiction
Southern Fiction

The Big Door Prize: Main Characters

Douglas Hubbard: A high school teacher in Deerfield, content with his life until the DNAMIX suggests a grander destiny. He embodies a journey of self-discovery, realizing the worth of his current life.

Cherilyn Hubbard: Douglas’s wife, who faces her own journey of self-reflection and empowerment, questioning her life choices and marriage, yet finding her own identity.

Jacob: A young, ambitious resident of Deerfield. His aspirations for a life beyond the small town are tempered by lessons in community and belonging.

Dr. Winthrop: The town veterinarian with a secret love for poetry. His character illustrates the theme of hidden passions and the courage to embrace one’s true self.

The Big Door Prize: Themes

The Search for Identity: Explored through characters like Douglas and Cherilyn, who reassess their lives and desires in light of the DNAMIX’s revelations.

The Power of Community: Highlighted by the interconnected lives in Deerfield and how the community navigates the upheaval caused by the DNAMIX.

The Allure of Potential vs. Reality: The novel delves into the human fascination with ‘what could be’ versus the beauty and richness of ‘what is,’ as seen in the townspeople’s reactions to their DNAMIX results.

The Nature of Contentment: Through Douglas’s story, the book examines the concept of satisfaction with one’s life and the continuous human quest for something more or different.

Self-Discovery and Growth: A theme that resonates throughout the novel, as characters learn about themselves and grow from their experiences with the DNAMIX.

0 0 votes
Overall Rating
Notify of

0 Book Reviews
Inline Feedbacks
View all reviews