This Ramshackle Tabernacle is a collection of short stories set in and around the fictional villages of St. Lola and St. Olga in northeastern Ontario. Whether reflecting on the broken lives of others in the community or mourning the death of a friend who drowned in a freak fishing accident, the characters in this collection face tragedy with grace, humour and perseverance. These stories deal with both the rundown and ruined aspects of our humanity but also with the redeeming and renewing love that can hold a community together when tragedies threaten to make it crumble.
"These linked stories set in a remote community in northeastern Ontario are as crisp and bracing as a chilly morning gulp of air. Achingly sympathetic and honest, they depict the lives of characters struggling to come to terms with their flaws and to achieve a saving grace." -Hugh Cook, author of Cracked Wheat and Other Stories, The Homecoming Man, and Home in Alfalfa.
“In This Ramshackle Tabernacle, the reverent and the irreverent not only share space—they rhyme. Sam Martin puts God in a full-nelson, brings the miraculous down to earth, and makes you feel the sacred in the shadow of a telephone pole. You will laugh and be lacerated. You will need stitches. A profound, funny, and exquisitely crafted book.” -Jessica Grant, award-winning author of Come, Thou Tortoise
“Sam Martin is an exceptional writer. In all ways this is a highly original work.” -David Adams Richards, award-winning author of Mercy Among the Children, River of the Broken-Hearted, and The Lost Highway.
"These stories look you straight in the eye until you feel naked. They see every scar. They know and understand that life is dangerous, and yet tell you to jump off the cliff, whether or not you can swim. To get your head under, because that’s the point." -John Terpstra, award-winning author of Two or Three Guitars, The Boys, and Disarmament