From the Ashes

From the Ashes

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

Book - 2019 | Simon & Schuster Canada edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"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."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Toronto : Simon & Schuster Canada, 2019
Edition: Simon & Schuster Canada edition
ISBN: 9781982101213
Branch Call Number: 971.004970092 Thist
Characteristics: x, 354 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
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.

Aug 14, 2020

I wish it had won Canada Reads 2020.

Aug 13, 2020

Book club July 2020

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at IPL

To Top