Nominated by:

Newfoundland & Labrador Public Libraries, Canada

Publisher of nominated edition:

Breakwater Books, Canada

A Blessed Snarl

Samuel Thomas Martin      

2014 Longlist

Patrick Wiseman moved his wife and son back to Newfoundland to start a new Pentecostal church, but when his wife Anne leaves him for a man she meets on Facebook and his son Hab moves in with his girlfriend Natalie—a burgeoning alcoholic with a fiery past—Patrick takes a suicidal leap of faith that brings him face to face with his estranged father Des, a Catholic mystic who might be covering up an old crime.
While Patrick wrestles to come to terms with his failed marriage, Hab struggles to hang on to his tenuous relationship with Natalie. But when a woman is almost burned alive in a nearby house fire and a neighborhood drunk is beaten within an inch of life, Hab begins to wonder if Natalie and her housemate Gerry know more than they let on.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Samuel Thomas Martin is the author of This Ramshackle Tabernacle which was shortlisted for the 2010 BMO Winterset Award and longlisted for the 2011 ReLit Award for Short Fiction. His reviews and stories have appeared in journals in both Canada and the U.S. and his jalapeno chilli once made someone cry. Originally from Ontario he now lives in Newfoundland with his wife Samantha and their dog Vadet.

Librarian’s Comments

The epigraph of this novel lays out its intriguing parameters. “In Newfoundland nature is a blessed snarl, humans an imposition.” A vivid story of tensions, families mostly anchored in St  John’s from Buckmasters Circle to Merrymetting Road, its characters struggle – often with both humour and grief – for redemption. This is Samuel Martin’s first novel. Already he’s a writer of great skill, in short, one to be watched.

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