cover image Pillars: How Muslim Friends Led Me Closer to Jesus

Pillars: How Muslim Friends Led Me Closer to Jesus

Rachel Pieh Jones. Plough, $17.99 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-63608-006-2

In this charming memoir, Pieh Jones (Stronger than Death), an expat American writer living in Djibouti, recounts her experiences moving from Minnesota to the horn of Africa when her husband took a professorship there, showing readers how her time in Muslim regions freed her from Islamophobic prejudice and deepened her own Christian faith. Pieh Jones vividly renders scenes of daily life raising small children without running water, and joining Somali friends at the market, during celebrations, and at prayer. Short character sketches are drawn with compassion, wisdom, and humor, such as the struggling restaurant vendor who still tips generously and gives away food to hungry workers: “These women taught me about Djibouti’s informal economy. They also taught me that giving doesn’t have to come from wealth or abundance. All one needs is a generous heart.” Woven in are thoughtful comparisons between Christian and Muslim cultures, centered on topics such as the role of prayer in deepening community and the importance of charity. The author’s considered, evocative prose and friendly persona make this a pleasure to read. Pieh Jones’s courage to embrace her adventures, rethink shallow faith, and find genuine friendships will inspire readers looking to expand their own horizons. (Apr.)