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From the Ashes

My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way
Written by: Jesse Thistle
Narrated by: Jesse Thistle
Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (382 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this extraordinary and inspiring debut memoir, Jesse Thistle, once a high-school dropout and now a rising Indigenous scholar, chronicles his life on the streets and how he overcame trauma and addiction to discover the truth about who he is.

If I can just make it to the next minute...then I might have a chance to live; I might have a chance to be something more than just a struggling crackhead.

From the Ashes is a remarkable memoir about hope and resilience, and a revelatory look into the life of a Métis-Cree man who refused to give up.

Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, Jesse Thistle briefly found himself in the foster-care system with his two brothers, cut off from all they had known. Eventually, the children landed in the home of their paternal grandparents, whose tough-love attitudes quickly resulted in conflicts. Throughout it all, the ghost of Jesse’s drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling with all that had happened, Jesse succumbed to a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and petty crime, spending more than a decade on and off the streets, often homeless. Finally, he realized he would die unless he turned his life around.

In this heart-warming and heart-wrenching memoir, Jesse Thistle writes honestly and fearlessly about his painful past, the abuse he endured, and how he uncovered the truth about his parents. Through sheer perseverance and education- and newfound love - he found his way back into the circle of his Indigenous culture and family.

An eloquent exploration of the impact of prejudice and racism, From the Ashes is, in the end, about how love and support can help us find happiness despite the odds.

©2019 Jesse Thistle (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about From the Ashes

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Eye-opening and riveting

A must-read for anybody who thinks they’ve been stuck with a hopeless lot in life — From the Ashes is equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring, a harrowing journey from start to finish that’s impossible to put down. Jesse’s life is one we all can learn something from,

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

You really feel for Jesse as you follow his journey. I loved the fact that he read it out himself. You can hear the emotion throughout the whole thing. The way this was written was very real.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing Read

Loved the author’s voice reading his own words. Difficult yet beautiful story, a must read for all.

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Amazing!

it's amazing to listen to his story and see what we are all capable of

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Courage

The courage needed to release our own story into the world is inspiring. Thank you so much for showing me it can be done.

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Thankful

I find myself thankful that Jesse would be willing to share his often heartbreaking story to educate those of us who haven’t endured all he has. And thankful that he found anchors to hold on to in order to remain in this life.

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An amazing Memoir

This was such an amazing and emotional story of his life. Hearing him speak his truth will no doubt help many and inspire hope. Thank you Jesse!

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Loved this book!

Jesse had quite a life... I'm glad he shared it with everyone! An inspiration to all who have their own struggles

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We all have a story, Jesse’s is no less.

I saw this on the CBC Canada’s Reads 2020 list, so glad I picked it for my August credit. Jesse does a great job narrating and makes you feel like you’ve been buddies since the playground days. The vulnerability, honesty, heartbreak, and love cannot go unnoticed. Highly recommend.

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  • NAR
  • 2020-09-02

Loved this book!

The author beautifully narrates this incredibly raw and honest story about his life as a homeless addict. I couldn't stop listening!!

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  • IKW
  • 2020-09-05

A beautiful and touching memoir-Finding your way home

Jesse Thistle’s life story is touching, heartwarming, reaffirming, and real. From the Ashes recounts his life in great detail and left me wondering how some people are able to turn their lives around because they have a larger purpose in life to fulfill. Jesse’s voice and story will resonate within me for a long time.

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  • Aedificator
  • 2020-06-19

Raw

The honesty can be difficult to hear but it's worth the trip. I finished spent with my tears dried on my cheeks and full of joy.

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  • Teresa MyersAlien Friend?
  • 2020-05-08

The Truths I have Heard

The truths I have heard from other homeless and mixed race people presented here as it is and feels, with courage. If you dare to know here is your teacher. Please dare.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-03-11

This should be mandatory reading for all adult Canadians.

This should be mandatory reading for all adult Canadians. This is an excellent story. Bravo Mr Thistle.

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  • Deborah Flemming
  • 2020-02-03

So moving

A very powerful memoir! How did you survive? How did you thrive? I cried and cheered and cried some more!