From These Ashes

From These Ashes

by Tamela J. Ritter

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Overview

From These Ashes by Tamela J. Ritter

"This tale of suffering, separation, redemption and healing is not just engaging-it is riveting... Tamela Ritter has written an important and touching book." Dan Verner, Prince William Living

The first time my mother tried to kill me, I was six.

This stunning contemporary Native American novel, From These Ashes chronicles the journey of two siblings looking for "home," while searching for themselves, each other, their heritage and their destiny.

In a center for cult recovery in Phoenix, Arizona, 16-year-old Native American Naomi West refuses to talk; instead she writes - about her life, about her brother, about the prophecy, and about the fire that nearly destroyed it all.

Meanwhile, her half-white brother, Tim West, awakes alone in a forest without memories of his past, only an unconscious urge to head west. It is on a Cascade mountaintop where he once again gets too close to a fire, and what starts as a horrifying nightmare wakens him to the truth of his past and a devastating choice that cost him everything.

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Author Tamela J. Ritter said in an interview that she didn't originally plan to bring her own cultural heritage into From These Ashes, saying of her own grandmother, Naomi, "What I remember is how proud she was of her heritage, how tightly she held onto it." Ms. Ritter spins a gripping tale of reservation life, featuring realistically drawn characters and the struggle of young people to figure out where they belong in the world, with heartfelt and nuanced writing.

If you love books by Native American authors like Sherman Alexie, Louise Eldritch, and Leslie Marmon Silko, From These Ashes by Tamela J. Ritter is a must-read for your bookshelf that you'll love to read again and again.

Praise for From These Ashes


"Pick it up if you love Sherman Alexie, stories about Native Americans, family dramas, or even if you love road trips."

"[I] plan to get a paperback copy of From These Ashes so that I can put Ritter on my shelf alongside Alexie and Silko, where her books belong."

"This is the best book I've ever hated reading. It ripped my heart completely out of my chest."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615777535
Publisher: Battered Suitcase Press
Publication date: 02/27/2013
Pages: 210
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.48(d)

About the Author

Tamela J. Ritter's truck driving father taught her the value of stories, travel and adventure. Her housewife mother taught her the value of daydreaming, family and escapism. Though she was raised in Spokane Washington, it wasn't until she moved to Missoula Montana that she felt she was "home." She currently lives in Virginia, but still dreams of the Big Sky. You can visit her online at http://www. tamelajritter.com.

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From These Ashes 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
WordVagabondReviews More than 1 year ago
Brother and sister Tim and Naomi West are both lost, in their own ways. Tim wakes up in a forest, alone and with no memory of who he is or how he got there. He sets out on a rambling path, hoping to regain his memories and eventually find his way home. Meanwhile, Naomi is at a cult recovery center in Arizona, refusing to speak as she maps out the trails that let her there, and waits for Tim to find her again. This is the best book I’ve ever hated reading. It ripped my heart completely out of my chest. I defy any reader to come away from this story without an intense emotional connection to the characters, and an equally intense empathy for their circumstances. There is a parallel here between Naomi’s disappointment with her mother’s failure to live up to her parental role, and Tim’s disappointment in the Native culture he idealizes not living up to its traditions. The two siblings deal with their betrayal in completely different ways; Naomi becomes harder, walling herself off, while Tim keeps searching, with increasing desperation for his place. This pattern, which begins early in their life, becomes literal after the events that lead to the beginning of the book. Naomi is living behind a wall of silence, while Tim ranges the American West, looking for someplace to call home. Ritter’s writing is beautiful, expressive and flawless. She paints urban and rural settings with equal skill, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the story. This is a book you can’t afford to miss, but be sure to have a box of tissues with you when you crack it open!