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ss nucleus - Summer 2020,  book: Is This it?

book: Is This it?

Is This it? Rachel Jones 208pp, The Good Book Company, 2019.ISBN: 9781784983314paperback £8.99
Sally Barker is a clinical medical student at Imperial College London

I was recommended this book three times before I read it (and even then, someone else had to buy it for me). The front of Is This It? is covered in questions which encapsulate that quarter-life crisis feeling stereotypical of our generation: 'am I failing at life?', 'will I end up alone?' and 'will this ever feel like home?'. These are questions which I didn't really want to admit I had and definitely had no desire to analyse!
However, I am writing this review is because the book is really, really good. The author, Rachel Jones, describes herself as a '20-something trying to keep it all together' and the overall message of the book could be summarised as: 'it's okay, trust in Jesus'. With radical honesty, she shares twelve feelings that, whilst not inherently sinful, conflict with her Christian faith. Each chapter explores the origins of a particular feeling. Using Scripture, humour, and some brilliant stories, she shows how each one is an opportunity to run our race of faith harder and with greater joy. Some chapters resonated more than others but because each chapter finished with simple prayer points or questions to think about, all of them led me to prayer, repentance, and a renewed excitement in my identity as a child of God.
The feelings that Rachel explores — dissatisfaction, rootlessness, loneliness, self-doubt or simply meaninglessness — are feelings that my non-Christian friends also experience. They can be subtle, presenting insidiously and manifesting in different ways for different people, but they are common consequences of the millennial culture. To be able to name these feelings with my friends, share our common vulnerabilities and then speak into these areas with salt, light and hope was an unexpected yet wonderful consequence of this book.
I have a controversial habit of turning down the corner of the page when I find a paragraph or sentence that is particularly useful — I fear I have disfigured Is This It? beyond repair. Buy it now or ask around because, trust me, this is a book that you will want to share once you have read it!
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