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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 (156 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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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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Honest and valuable message

Jesse has used up several of nine lives. His story reveals a cycle and perspective of homelessness and drug addiction that isn't often heard. Glad he has found his way with the support of many. May his current influence serve others who need an inspiration to escape a similar fate.

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brilliant and inspiring

Unlike Jesse, I have extreme difficulty remembering let alone expressing my thoughts into words where others are able to feel, hear, see, touch, and smell words written on paper. Well done Jesse ! Well done! You will inspire all who feel you, hear you, and see you! Carry on with your incredible journey, carry on D. Derderian

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Excellent Book

Jesse, thank you for sharing your life story and how you survived . Your book should be given to those who are still trying to survive on the streets. I believe it would be an opportunity for them to see that there is hope for a better life.
I wish you all the best and encourage you to be that light for those still living in darkness.

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Canadian must read

This book is a beautiful memoir about a real struggle our indigenous population has faced. It brings to light some of the challenges that are all to common in our country. This is one of those books that never leaves you. Jesse so beautifully narrates his own story. I applaud Jesse for the courage and strength this must have taken. This book is about so much and I am grateful to have read it. Thank you Jesse Thistle.

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Enlightening, all about the choices we make as we go through life

This is a compelling true story of how a Meti Indian boy who seriously fell into drugs and living on the street. Who wrecked his own body through his misdeeds. Yet he succeeded in getting it right eventually.,He had a wonderful wife by his side and a keen interest in his roots, a good work ethic and basically was an honest man. He achieved the amazing
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Dont Give Up

Jessie Thistle has some sort of inner super power. To live the way he did, and yet was able to rise above it all to write about it. Kudos to you Jessie. The deeper you get into the story, the harder it is to put it down.

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A moving must-read for any Canadian wishing you understand homelessness and the challenges of growing up robbed of your history

So moving and almost unbelievable — a tear jerking take that has you rooting for the narrator to overcome his obstacles, and frustrated that it takes him so long to do it — it is so enlightening, a clear view of a life most of us don’t live and have a difficult time understanding

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what a story

How can you not be affected after reading this book? This book was recommended to me by the authors cousin and since we grew up in the same area; I knew many of the places and atmosphere in which the author wrote about. I was just blown away by the story. It seems he has escaped death on many occassions and has a very difficult up bringing and just being able to bring himself back from the depths of dispair and really to be able to turn his life around is truely amazing. I highly recommend this book. His story telling is wonderful and I like that he chose to read it himself for audiobook.

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Absolutely gripping and inspiring!

This story will stay with you for a long time and give you hope. 🙏

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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!