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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 (212 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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Very Deep

Narrator's emotions can be felt through his voice. This a moving & insightful novel about life on the streets.

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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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a book you shouldn't miss

Requried by a course but it is good to come across such a bittersweet story! I began to appreciate my life after reading the story. It gives you hope in life especially at difficult times.

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Wow, great read.

I was hooked from the beginning. How can one person go through so much and come out the other end with such an amazing attitude.

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An excellent listen

I thought this book would be depressing. I was wrong. Jesse Thistle does not shy away from describing the inter generational trauma generated by colonialism and racism nor the brutality of imprisonments and homelessness. Yet this book is fundamentally a book about hope and resilience. This book is very well written and I found it almost impossible to set aside. It is filled with insight. It honors his Michif ancestry. I look forward to reading future works by this author and to learning more about Michif history.

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Heartbreaking and sad to know how a developed country does so little for the homeless

What a story...
Great to know that God redeemed Jesse. I hope he read psalm 32 at some point when he was in jail and saw that it was indeed a message for him. Very inspiring that he turned his life around; the will to live is poignant. If only there were more success stories like his, and this book opened my eyes to the lack of empathy and resources in Canada to help the homeless.

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Incredible story

I loved this book. I'm glad that Jesse survived to be able to tell his story.

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The impact of trauma

This book, this story is truly one of hope, resilience in humans. Jesse, you are a poster-child of the impact of trauma on children and it's long term effect, not to mention the impact of colonialism on Indigenous People; I found it hard to read at times, as I have worked in Vanier as well as driven passed the Shepherds of Good Hope daily for 5 years...you have given me a renewed sense of hope for the faces I have encountered while driving on King Edward...who knows, he/she too could turn it around.
Thank you

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A remarkable story of wisdom

Jesse's narrative grabbed my attention from the beginning. This book is beautifully and honestly written. It opened my world to love and understanding.

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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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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 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!