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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.

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Excellent, heart-breaking

Jesse’s narration of his own story was so heartbreaking and impactful. Thank you for being courageous and becoming a voice for homeless and addicted folks; may people find empathy through your story. I imagine you’re a beacon of hope for so many.

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A Must Read

Eye opening to the world of homelessness, addiction, and the affects of colonization in Canada. After reading this book you will gain a completely new perspective of people, and the world around you.

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must read

loved it. a personal story that touches the soul at the same time painting a clear picture of our country's systemic flaws that keep people that struggle with addiction and homelessness stuck in a cycle that is so incredibly hard to get out of.

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A story that needed to be told. A book that needs to be experience.

Beautiful, raw, challenging and unforgettable. I was in tears for the last hour. Jesse’s life and the telling of his journey is a service to all Canadians.

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excellent read

loved it! Thank you Jesse Thistle for sharing your story. i love happy endings.

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Real, Raw and so encouraging

I saw Jesse speak on Dr Jody Carrington I was so moved by him that I downloaded his book that night. An author that narrates his own work , in a real, raw, truthful way. This book is an inspiration for anyone to rise above any and all situations. Be proud of yourself Jesse and I know your grandparents are so so proud of what you have overcome and the man that you are today

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What a Fabulously written book!!!

This is a journey that I will remember for my entire life! Reading his life’s story gives me strength to deal with whatever comes at me with positivity because it isn’t anything compared to his!!! I will definitely recommend From The Ashes By Jesse Thistle to everyone!!!

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This book is powerful

I loved listening to this book the first time, and I will very likely listen to it again! As a recovering addict and alcoholic I strongly connected with this story. The narration done by the author made it feel real. His voice wasn’t over animated so it made it seem as if I was just listening to a friend. I loved this aspect. His Métis perspective brings much meaning to the basis of this book. I myself have Métis heritage but have been removed from the culture and grew up as a white Canadian woman married into a Coast Salish community. The cultural connection drew me deep into his story telling from the very start. I would recommend this book in a heartbeat to anyone who asked! What a story he tells!

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  • herardo_olibarria
  • 2020-11-13

Poverty, addiction, oppression and overcoming it!

This was an amazing gritty story straight from the streets. Jesse's narratiom brings to life the horrors he endured both at the hands of monsters in human clothes and self-inflicted. Jesse's struggles and his success engross the listener. You will be shocked and will laugh and cry. Through it all Jesse never gives up and neither should any of Us!

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  • Charlotte R.
  • 2020-10-02

an important read

Jesse and his story is bound to be a national treasure. It is raw, sincere, innocent, transparent...through his rock bottom downs to his Everest climbs, Jesse Thistle conveys the tragedy of addiction and the rebirth of a life through never ending efforts to heal. He never forgets that his success depended on others loving , supporting and believing in his human strength and goodness.

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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!