Books by State: Louisiana

The Big Door Prize by M.O. Walsh

“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…” — Amazon’s Summary

I feel like the last bit of the summary mentioning Douglas and Cherilyn is a bit misleading. Cherilyn certainly becomes a big dreamer after her DNA reading, but Douglas is actually one of the only people in the book that doesn’t trust the DNAMIX readouts. Another being one of the other main characters, one of Douglas’s students who is on his own journey and hardly has time to even acknowledge the DNAMIX and all its ramifications on the town.

Regardless, the story, with all its different perspectives and storylines that weave together subtly and seamlessly in the way it only can in a small town, was captivating and thought provoking.

Being born and still living in Louisiana myself, it made me think about the people I see on a day-to-day basis or even just see on the streets. Do all these people that seem like constant background movement have such deep, introspective thoughts and intense life events as these characters in this book that I feel so close to? Could I feel this close to any person I pass by in life just by stepping outside the tumult in my own mind? It’s really basic questions that hardly pass my mind; books will do that for you! And that’s what’s so beautiful about it 🙂

Overall, this book shows the importance of appreciating the people around you and to never underestimate them (which could mean any number of things: don’t underestimate what they are capable of, don’t underestimate the support they will give you when you need them, don’t underestimate your importance in their life, etc.). It also shows how great a thing it is to dream big!

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