Pillars is a memoir; a moving – and often dramatic – account of what it was like to move from Minnesota, USA to Somalia and Djibouti. But it’s also a respectful and insightful introduction to Islam and a theological meditation on what it means to follow Jesus, wherever you are.

Jones writes beautifully about the difficulty of living in a new country, of having your assumptions challenged at every turn, but also about growth, repentance and hope. These come as gifts from God but also from Muslim neighbours and friends, who teach Jones to see their religion and culture as something she can learn from.

Islam is not presented as homogenous but every bit as multifaceted as Christianity. The people she gets to know are not cultural cut-outs but real individuals. And the lessons she learns about God and Western culture (mostly that they are not the same thing) are hard – sometimes jarring – but mostly delivered with gentleness and grace.

Listen to our interview with Rachel on The Profile podcast