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Publisher's Summary

 One of PopSugar’s 25 New Books Everyone Will Be Talking About in September
One of
New York Post's Required Reading Picks  

The New York Times best-selling author of My Sunshine Away returns with another instant Southern classic: a gripping and heartfelt novel about a mysterious machine that upends a small Louisiana town, asking us all to wonder if who we truly are is who we truly could be.

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.

©2020 M. O. Walsh (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"The ability to take what is primarily a funny, engaging, leisurely paced look at Small Town, USA, a la Fannie Flagg, and turn it into a breathless, high-stakes page-turner in the last 60 pages speaks to the mastery of Walsh’s storytelling skills. But what makes The Big Door Prize most appealing is its deeply humane characters who are primarily sweet and kind-hearted, but who get drunk and fight and act a fool just enough to give them a bit of an edge. Weaving it all together is a gentle sense of humor conveyed through comic events and clever observations that make us laugh not so much at the characters but at the sight of ourselves within them." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"The Big Door Prize is M. O. Walsh’s long-awaited second novel and a captivating analysis of human nature, ambition, and how we chase our dreams while honoring our relationships and commitments." (Deep South Magazine

"[Walsh] eloquently explores the idea of second changes and makes the surreal seem achingly and poignantly authentic." (Augusta Chronicle)

What listeners say about The Big Door Prize

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Disappointed

I was really looking forward to this book and it was a complete boring disappointment

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really good listen

loved the story.narrator was great ! I would recommend it. read it! please read it.

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Beautiful

This is an incredible story, beautifully written and performed. M.O. Walsh does it again! It’s the perfect read for the end of 2020.

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This could have been a funny book...

...but it was just the opposite. After what i thought was a good beginning, the whole thing began to get tiresome, including the reader. I am as big a fan of John Prine as he ever had, but I did not understand the cribbing of song titles or verses for chapter titles and even the title of the book, and at least in the case of one character assuming the name of a figure in a Prine song (Pamela Walker). Do you have to get permission to do this; obviously not. It was over-kill for an homage to the great singer/songwriter, IMO.

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don't waste your time or money

The Big Door Prize sounds better in the summary. I was excited but it's not worth it.