Listen free for 30 days

  • 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
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Biographies & Memoirs
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,207 ratings)

Audible Membership

$14.95 a month

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $23.67

Buy Now for $23.67

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

  • Winner, Kobo Emerging Writer Prize Nonfiction
  • Winner, Indigenous Voices Awards
  • Winner, High Plains Book Awards
  • Finalist, CBC Canada Reads
  • A Globe and Mail Book of the Year
  • An Indigo Book of the Year
  • A CBC Best Canadian Nonfiction Book of the Year  

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 Audio

Featured Article: 22 Canadian Voice Narrators that You Need to Listen to

Discover the voices and stories of Canada with this list of Canadian narrators and authors who are bringing Canadian tales to life in these incredible audiobooks.

What listeners say about From the Ashes

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,008
  • 4 Stars
    165
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    800
  • 4 Stars
    173
  • 3 Stars
    54
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    903
  • 4 Stars
    105
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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,

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Tragic, beautiful, vulnerable, engaging, and so very redemptive.

This powerful story (and beautiful reading) captures and gives language to the deep and residual effects of trauma, both implicit and explicit. Skipping past the politics of foster care, First Nations peoples, drugs, addiction, homelessness, crime, and justice, this work dives headlong into the humanity of these topics.

Jesse’s openness allows the reader the opportunity to attend to the complexities of street life and addiction; even as one hopes for victory, a realization dawns that in many ways, daily survival is already victory for many.

Thank you Jesse for choosing to share your journey, you have not only survived, but continue to rise!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Heartbreaking. Hilarious. Hopeful.

Hearing this book in the author’s voice feels like sitting around a fire while he tells stories. It’s a remarkable story of tragedy, discrimination and resilience. Completely compelling.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

My take on Jesse Thistle,s book

I didn’t enjoy this book at all in fact I was ready to stop reading it several times. His drunkenness and drug use were utterly appalling.He had many chances to get sober and he blew them He talked like it was a joke to rob from stores and even his family and friends.The language was also revolting and did not add anything to the story . I t took him far too long to get sober..I also grew up without a father and o money and I didn’t take it out on society at large.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling, tragic, and redemptive

I found the narration hard to get used to, but did appreciate the authenticity of the author’s voice. The story was heartbreaking, but I was moved by the author’s honesty and his ability to see his own faults. The depth of his grandparents’ love and their own struggles was moving. I sincerely hope that as a society, we can learn from Thistle’s experiences and look at drug use and homelessness with more compassion.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A moving story!

Thank you Jesse Thistle for sharing your story. Your words and life moved me in many ways.

Jesse’s story opens our eyes and our hearts to what it’s like to live with addictions and more importantly, why the cycle is so hard to break. His story is raw but filled with hope, healing, forgiveness and love. A must read!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Moving and Inspiring

This book was sometimes hard to get through because it does such an amazing job of connecting the reader to the author. The reader feels along with Jesse, travels with him through his journey. Amazing book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Story Reaches The Soul

This story reached my soul. I have known and lost loved ones, who carried heavy things in their hearts too. This book helped me understand them better. Thank you for sharing your story Jesse.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Melissa Locklear
  • 2022-05-11

Very Good Read

This was a very good book. I found the author's story cultural and informative. I appreciated the honesty and integrity of the stories he told. The descriptive detail kept me engaged. And I am very pleased to hear another Native's story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • mindi thomas
  • 2021-11-01

Hard to hear Jessie's Story....but powerful.


I listened to the author read this story. Powerful, painful, and real. Thanks for writing your journey!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Quintessential
  • 2021-09-09

Most amazingly presented incredible autobiography

This book is quite difficult to listen to at times. Jesse's life was so difficult and nearly destroyed by drugs and alcohol. But the story of perseverance and love helping him conquer his addictions is among the most profound stories I've ever experienced. Highly recommend the Audible version read by Jesse himself.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-07-08

Fantastic!!

Fantastic!!! A story that is very well written and narrated by the author it is absolutely superb! It is a story that deserves to be heard!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • pinkgreenambergold
  • 2021-05-02

stunning

This book is one of the most amazing pieces of art I’ve encountered.
His words tell of pathways not taken & those others, inexorable in their grip.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ilene Winokur
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.