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Archives 2020 > From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle - spoilers included

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message 1: by ❀ Susan (last edited Jan 23, 2020 05:14AM) (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4234 comments Mod
A place to discuss From the Ashes

message 2: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4234 comments Mod
This book was eye opening!

After a lifetime of neglect, abuse, addiction, crime and homelessness, it is quite remarkable that Jesse Thistle found support and had the strength to deal with his addictions, complete a university degree, become an assistant professor and write a book that has been long-listed for Canada Reads!

For me, it just makes me think that the world needs MORE UNDERSTANDING and LESS JUDGEMENT!!!

Also - for those with book clubs, Jesse Thistle is available to discuss his book via Skype. We have our date booked in April!

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 308 comments That is very cool @Susan! I’d love to hear how that goes with Jesse Thistle.

Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺ (allisonhikesthebookwoods) | 2036 comments Just finished this one yesterday. What an incredible story of resilience. I can't wait to hear about your book club with Jesse Thistle @Susan!

message 5: by Heather(Gibby) (new)

Heather(Gibby) (heather-gibby) | 561 comments I just finished this one, I listened to it (narrated by the author) It is an incredible story, and parts of it left me destroyed. I don't want to post any spoilers for those who haven't finished yet. I was walking around the track at our gym with tears running down my face.
The only way I could keep going was I knew the author had pulled himself out.

message 6: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (joanna_g) | 33 comments I really enjoyed this book and think it has a great chance to win the whole thing - especially looking at the last two winners - it's another tale of overcoming (horrible) obstacles, ending on a hopeful note.

I would have liked to see a bit more - insight? reflection? maybe. It felt at times like just a recitation of facts and I wanted to know a bit more about why certain decisions were made. Of course, especially when dealing with addiction, there may not be a clear answer to that.

I also would have liked to know more about the brothers and their relationships as adults/currently. There were definitely bits of that, but it's just that their bond as children seemed so strong and then that really just went away. Again, it's understandable that distance would have grown, but I would have liked to see their relationship at the end addressed a bit more directly.

message 7: by Anne (last edited Mar 02, 2020 10:25AM) (new)

Anne (artemis91) | 43 comments I thought this was a great book, but I'm not confident on its ability to win. It was very well-written, but it was the first CR shortlist book I read, and now that I've read all but Radicalized, I'm realizing it is an incredibly strong field this year.

I agree with what Joanna said above, with that it did feel a little flat, but also understanding that some of the content he patched together from shaky memories, other people's recollections, and any paper trails, it makes sense that in some places it would feel like a biography more than a memoir.

I see this book doing well, and I'm happy to see how much press it is getting. Whether or not it wins, this book will be read by Canadians.

I think where this book will do well in the debates is it very clearly brings issues into focus: indigenous issues, from fostering to resources for families in poverty. It brings into focus all the faults of the public systems that should be helping Jesse's family, and himself, once he's on his own. But it also shows some successes and reinforces what maybe needs more public support so we can have more people succeed like Jesse did.

I think one thing that stuck out to me as well, is that people facing addiction issues nowadays face much higher risks than Jesse did. He was dealing with addiction issues before opioids were as common on the street as they are now. How many people have died who had the potential in them to create, as Jesse did, but didn't have access to public health programs, like safe injection sites and prescribed heroin, that have been proven time and time again to help and save people with drug addictions?

message 8: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4234 comments Mod
does this book make you this differently? does it make you want to help? how can average people help?

I did tweet Jesse to see what would have helped him and his answer was: smokes, money, bus passes, food and someone to talk to.

it is a small thing but we have a supply of granola bars on hand in the car to share.

message 9: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 322 comments This book was "eye opening" for me and gave lots of "food for thought". We need to do more for our neighbours (anyone with needs) and try to eradicate poverty. Poverty should not exist in our country! We should love one another and care for each other. Children should not be "falling through the cracks".
I am looking forward to the debates about this and the other four books.

message 10: by Anne (new)

Anne (artemis91) | 43 comments ❀ Susan wrote: "does this book make you this differently? does it make you want to help? how can average people help?

I did tweet Jesse to see what would have helped him and his answer was: smokes, money, bus pas..."

I buy handwarmers when I see them on sale. The local pharmasave has them as cheap as $2 sometimes, and then I hand those out.

message 11: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4234 comments Mod
my book club had a great time "meeting" with Jesse Thistle last night! check out our experience:

message 12: by Mj (new)

Mj | 1185 comments I finished reading From the Ashes mid February 2020 and published my review mid April 2020 but am just getting around to posting on Canadian Content before the August 20, 2020 Canada Reads begins. I hope everyone enjoys the streaming and televised debates.

I thought that From the Ashes by Jess Thistle was a good choice for this year's theme of One Book to Bring Canada into Focus. I thought it was an excellent debut novel and Thistle's content, emotional sharing and vulnerability shone through. I also found it to be very universal in nature. As a Metis, Thistle taught readers about the impact of racism, residential schools and the sixties sweep but he also spoke about many problems that Metis share with Non-Metis - childhood negelec, the resulting low esteem, about homelessness and poverty and the alchohol and drug epidemic (particularly opiods) in Canada. His book really focuses on how much we as Canadians have failed to support the traumatized and people living in poverty.

Check out my review for more details:

message 13: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Penney | 783 comments Thank you, MJ. That was a wonderful review.

Mj wrote: "I finished reading From the Ashes mid February 2020 and published my review mid April 2020 but am just getting around to posting on Canadian Content before the August 20, 2020 Canada Reads begins. ..."

message 14: by ❀ Susan (new)

❀ Susan G (susanayearofbooksblogcom) | 4234 comments Mod
@MJ - I think that you are in a book club. Did you know that Jessie Thistle is willing to virtually join in the discussions? we had a wonderful zoom evening with him!

message 15: by Mj (last edited Jul 21, 2020 12:28PM) (new)

Mj | 1185 comments @ Natasha - thanks for your kind words

@ Susan - thanks for mentioning Jessie Thistle for a Skype Book club meeting. I was aware of this and sounds like your book club really enjoying his virtual attendance. Our last bc meeting was in February (Covid caused a library shut-down just before our March date.) In the interim, have thought about Zoom meetings - but many members don't have at-home access to the internet and I didn't want to exclude anyone. Also understand not everyone in a group our size can be seen. Attendance averages about 14 people (anywhere from 10 to 17), Am thinking further about it as just heard no more in-person book clubs in the library until Jan 2021..........seems like a long way away.

Was disappointed that From the Ashes was voted off today. It is a book everyone could benefit from reading.

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