Recommendations for “At Home in the World”

This touching story of a young woman’s growing awareness of the broader world around her and how her childhood faith is both tested and confirmed by it will capture your heart in an instant. It connects emotionally and compellingly with the reader as if it was strangely magnetized for that purpose. In an age when there are many would-be authors, Rhonda Wiley-Jones can really write! (John Killinger, author, minister, professor, theologian)

Rhonda Wiley-Jones’s memoir At Home in the World sparkles with compassion, insight, and sincerity. Like all good coming of age stories, her book invites us to join the author on her journey, both inner and outer, as she awakens to the larger world and to herself. We root for her as she seeks answers to life’s questions and faces challenges, and applaud her when she succeeds in discovering her own truth. Never preachy, always thoughtful, Wiley-Jones shares her adventure with grace and honesty. (Skye Alexander, author, artist, and teacher)

Starting with girlhood questions about the world, Rhonda Wiley-Jones reminds us the preparation that good parents offer their children is a version of the Moses story: Moses prepared the Israelites for the Promised Land, but could not enter. Wiley-Jones negotiates territory between her sturdy childhood and the places, both inner and outer, she is called to experience. Although the journey into her inner and outer worlds takes her far from her original roots, the encouragement of her parents, especially her mother, makes such traveling less painful and more joyful. In stories based in her Baptist roots to those that lead to her ultimately becoming a Quaker, Rhonda Wiley-Jones offers readers – parents and their children alike – examples of the courage and reflection that growth requires and creates. (Sheila Bender,

As travelogue and memoir–a personal journey through both space and time–At Home in the World introduces us to fascinating places while chronicling a young woman’s process of self-discovery. Rhonda Wiley-Jones combines far-flung, frequently amusing travel stories with subsequent reflection to offer a unique perspective on faith, family, feminism, and freedom. (David Heddendorf, essayist and author of Meridian Stories)

I just finished At Home… . I feel I know you far better after 182 pages than I ever did in the years we both lived on Hodge Avenue in Iowa. I really had trouble putting it down, but I did, as I read it last week when I was in Phoenix with friends. I read little snippets of At Home to my friends during the week. Thanks for writing such a thoughtful, thought provoking book. (Mary Wells, Iowa friend and neighbor) 

I finished your book last week. A complete read from beginning to end was very pleasurable. The flow kept me searching further even though I’d read most of it previously in our writing circle. You pulled everything together in a very logical, sequential order and clearly described your mounting questions about the church. Your choice to follow your personal transition without malice toward the church certainly lays a foundation for others facing the same concerns, perhaps making their journey easier. (Frances Lovett, Texas friend and fellow writing circle member)

I enjoyed learning how you grew into the woman you are today. It was interesting to see how your missionary Baptist zeal grew and changed into a different and worldly interest in improving lives and activism. We never know exactly how our life’s journey will play out but your mother and your church certainly believed in you and encouraged you to be a leader. Reading your book also made me reflect on the influences in my life that helped me be the person I am today. (Katie McAvoy, friend from Minnesota)

I just finished reading your book, At Home in the World. How insightful and what great writing! Especially fun since I know you…..or know some things about you…learned so much more through your writing. Great read. I marvel at how well you remember the details of your trips back in high school and post college; am guessing you “journal,” which would help. You really draw the reader in through great use of descriptive words/phrases and analogies. I like your style. It was a great read….I am passing the book on to a friend. (Jeanne Warning, Iowa friend and previous co-worker)  

Seeking Awe & Delight

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