From the Ashes

From the Ashes

My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way

Book - 2019
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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, but their tough-love attitudes meant conflicts became commonplace. And the ghost of Jesse's drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling, 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. One day, he finally realized he would die unless he turned his life around. In this heartwarming and heartbreaking memoir, Jesse Thistle writes honestly and fearlessly about his painful experiences with abuse, uncovering the truth about his parents, and how he found his way back into the circle of his Indigenous culture and family through education. An eloquent exploration of what it means to live in a world surrounded by prejudice and racism and to be cast adrift, From the Ashes is, in the end, about how love and support can help one find happiness despite the odds.
Publisher: New York ;, London ;, Toronto ;, Sydney ;, New Delhi :, Simon & Schuster,, 2019
ISBN: 9781982101213
Branch Call Number: 971.00497 THI 2019
Characteristics: x, 354 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


From the critics

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Nov 19, 2020

Fantastic and well written. Did not put it down til finished. Bravo to Jesse Thistle!

Oct 15, 2020

Ordinary writing, present tense makes for juvenile tone, short chapters easy to read, but too lengthy overall.

Aug 14, 2020

I wish it had won Canada Reads 2020.

Aug 13, 2020

Book club July 2020

Jul 11, 2020

This book is an amazingly raw and honest depiction of the authors life and struggles. I believe his story deeply resingnates and represents the struggles that happens in the indigenous culture. Hopefully the readers come to this book with an openness to really hear and see how society has impacted the indigenous community. Also how addiction can cause so much damage for generations.

Jul 10, 2020

Incredible memoir of an individual's account on his journey through addiction and homelessness and struggles with family. I discovered it's a great companion read to Gabor Mate's book on addiction which I happened to read prior. If you want to understand people with addictions more, or have someone close struggling with addiction, this is a must read. If you want to learn more about marginalized people, this is a must read. Overall, a must read.

Jun 08, 2020

A well written and brutally honest memoir.

May 18, 2020

Fantastic and inspiring true story!

Apr 22, 2020

This moving memoir is written in a matter-of-fact, honest and conversational style where Jesse tells his story taking responsibility for the situation, he ended up in. The storytelling in this book brought me to places in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa where I have never gone, only heard about. As the book progressed, I tried to read this memoir without judging Jesse because of the early trauma, prejudice and racism he had endured. Jesse does not write himself as a hero but as a man with hope as he battles back to his indigenous culture, family and humanity.

IndyPL_MagalyC Apr 22, 2020

This memoir had me at the edge of my seat to find out how Thistle overcomes his drug and alcohol addiction. Thistle is candid in his experiences and I found myself holding my breath in anticipation (and anxiety) when following his downward spiral and struggle for survival. Despite many of the gut-wrenching descriptions and heartbreaking circumstances, this book was impossible to put down. It is a must-read for gaining insight on a unique perspective on Metis-Cree peoples, racism, drug addiction, and homelessness.

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