I bought a copy of this book because it was a finalist for CBC's Canada Reads 2020. I try to read at least a few from the list every year. (Unfortunately this year's competition was cancelled due to COVID 19 concerns). As my reading time fell off rather suddenly, I ended up listening to the audiobook
From the Ashes, by Jesse Thistle is an important and deeply moving memoir. Thistle is able to chronicle his story from trauma, to tribulation and ultimately love and redemption, It is a testament to both the fragility and strength of the human spirit.
With heart wrenching honesty Thistle describes his life from unstable childhood into addiction and life on the streets, and eventually the difficult recovery and mastery over his demons. As a reader with a certain amount of privilege, it is a good reminder that many addicts and street people more often than not, come from a place of pain. His openness and honesty in his writing resulted in a recounting that is tough and gritty, yet not without love and hope.
By reading the story himself for the audiobook, the listener is graced with with experience of listening to his story in his words and hearing it as though it is a first hand telling.
This memoir is an important book for Canadians as we work towards a future where there is more empathy and understanding and less judgement and racism.
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