What’s your potential in life…..?

  • Book: The Big Door Prize
  • Location: Louisiana
  • Author: M O Walsh

Review Author: JustRetiring



I got hold of The Big Door Prize because I had enjoyed reading My Sunshine Away by M. O. Walsh so much. And because the whole premise of the story sounded so enticing….

‘What would you do if you knew your life’s potential? That’s the question facing the reseidents of Deerfield, Louisiana, when the DNAMIX machine appears in their local grocery store.’

Douglas Hubbard teaches at Deerfield High School and has been happily married to Cherilyn for close to 20 years. But he’s having a small mid-life crisis, so he needs to learn ho to play the trombone. Now. And why has Cherilyn suddenly asked him to make love to her again, immediately after he’d just rolled off her. ‘But maybe’, she whispered. ‘A little harder this time.’

Jacob is having a tough time. He’s smart, but different from the rest of the ‘dickheads’ at school. And his twin brother Toby is dead after a drunk driving accident. Trina, Toby’s girlfriend, was there that night and hints at something sinister…just as she ‘shoved her rough tongue through Jacob’s teeth so aggressively that to call it a kiss at all may have been a mistake.’

Father Pete, Trina’s uncle, serves God and the Deerfield community as best he can. But that doesn’t stop him aching for 5 o’clock every day, when he removes his collar, makes fresh soda water and savours every sip of the water, combined with ice cubes and Sobieska vodka.

And then there’s Deuce Newman, the oversized town asshole according to Jacob, who’s looking to take the Mayor’s job from Jacob’s Dad and Cherilyn from Douglas.

The outward calm of Deerfield and the solidity of its citizens is insidiously undermined by everyone suddenly thinking they can achieve more in life. And in the skilled hands of the author, all the characters are rounded, believable and entertaining as they mesh together in a rewarding story.

This is a darkly comic novel about life and love, and I’m already looking forward to seeing where Mr. Walsh takes our emotions next.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021