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 Metis-Cree man who refused to give up. Abandoned by his parents as a toddler.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : Simon & Schuster Canada, 2019.
ISBN: 9781982101213
Characteristics: 354 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.


From Library Staff

The author is Metis-Cree, from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. This is a memoir of resilience, spirit and dignity. We follow Jesse Thistle's journey through abandonment, the foster care system, tough-love attitudes, conflict and drug abuse. Through sheer perseverance, education and love we read how ... Read More »

A memoir about the life of a Metis-Cree man who refused to give up. A story of hope and resilience.

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VaughanPLDaniela Jun 03, 2021

A compelling, inspiring story of overcoming even the most brutal life circumstances. Thistle's early years of child neglect and exposure to alcohol and drugs lured him into a life on the fringes of society, stealing and self-destructing his way into homelessness, prison, and a harrowing brush with death. At rock bottom, Thistle finally commits to getting the help he needs, reconnecting with his Métis heritage and becoming an esteemed educator along the way. What made this biography resonate even more for me is that Thistle spent his formative years in Brampton, Ontario, where I currently reside. Thistle’s biography is an important lesson about hope, identity, family, love, and perseverance – one that is sure to make a memorable impact on its readers.

May 24, 2021

A harrowing keyhole into an extraordinary soul. A MUST READ for anyone interested in the first-hand-witnessed account of one man's heroic, horrifying, destructive, and ultimately redemptive experience.

Apr 13, 2021

Powerful book: very descriptive and immersive. Jesse’s story is harrowing and I feel grateful that he shared it.

WPL_Najeeba Apr 12, 2021

From the Ashes is an intense and hard read but at the same time impossible to put down. It is a very well-written book that left a deep impact on me. I can not imagine how the author came back from the seemingly endless cycle of addiction and homelessness. I also loved the poems in the book, so sad yet gut-wrenchingly beautiful.

Jan 18, 2021

A heart-breaking, lyrical memoir that highlights the struggles Thistle overcame to become the man he is today. Provides some insight into historical issues for indigenous people without overgeneralizing.

Dec 29, 2020

I truly enjoyed this debut novel by Jesse Thistle, a journey of trauma, addiction and life on the streets through to hope, survival and redemption. Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, along with his two older brothers, Jesse's memoir takes us on a rough and tumble ride thru a life of adversity as an indigenous young man in Brampton, Vancouver and Ottawa' s Lowertown and Byward Market area. While various social service agencies and his own Cree Metis family members attempted to Pull him from the gutter, he was often his own worst enemy, sabotaging any and all efforts. But he persevered and without giving too much away, Thistle rallies to emerge a true success story. A great read.

Dec 28, 2020

I love a book that changes me and the way that I see the world. Jesse helped me to understand the indigenous people and the challenges that they are facing to overcome generations of abuse and distrust. I could not put this one down. It was so difficult for Jesse to write this memoire, and I am so grateful that he did. How do people live through that? Amazing!

Dec 16, 2020

Jesse’s story is one of both suffering and overcoming. It weaves together cultural and family wounds with the choices and outcomes that follow. It was gripping and hard to put down, but at the same time very difficult to read. It’s raw. This memoir shed light on some issues that I have not walked through personally, and gave me a greater compassion for people who suffer from addiction, childhood turmoil and racial discrimination. Despite the heaviness of this book, I read it with a deep hope for a triumphant ending.

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.

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