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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
5 out of 5 stars (64 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 members say

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  • Overall
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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,

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Harrowing, compelling ultimately inspiring story

As a Canadian living in an urban centre it is sadly not unusual to see homeless Indigenous men and women who are clearly struggling with addictions. It can feel like a hopeless situation, a tragic effect of colonization. Jesse Thistle’s story is powerful. He was in the worst possible situations over many years and yet survived. His voice is honest and straightforward as he relays his experiences. His story has gotten me back into thinking there are no hopeless situations and that it’s important to never give up on people.

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  • EW
  • 2019-12-21

A must read

What an amazing story. Couldn't stop listening, My boldness to continue listening through all the pain and frustration was only because I knew the author survived to write the book. Enlightening look at some of our worst social conditions, a testament to hope AND education. Humble author is a human being whose life experiences are painfully remembered and finally transcended with determination and a loving heart. At first I wasn't sure about the author as performer, but now realize this authentic voice added to the experience of audio. Don't miss this book.

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Such an inspiration!!

I highly recommend this beautiful book to anyone touched by addiction, addicts and those who care enough to learn about addiction. Jesse, you are brave, have a beautiful soul and I believe have so much more valuable things to share with the world. Thank you for sharing your story with me. I feel lucky to have met you, even if only through your book. I wish you much peace and love.

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Riveting

A friend told me to check out this book. So happy I did. It is a raw and impactful view into resilience. I couldn’t stop listening. Thank you for sharing with us Jesse.

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Excellent.

Powerful, honest, and important. I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Thanks for sharing your story, Jesse.

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Hope shines through the devastation

Raw and dark in places, yet somehow hopeful. This is a book that I won’t soon forget.