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Description

Product Description

A father’s exhilarating and funny love letter to his daughter with Down syndrome whose vibrant and infectious approach to life has something to teach all of us about how we can better live our own. 

Jillian Daugherty was born with Down syndrome. The day they brought her home from the hospital, her parents, Paul and Kerry, were flooded with worry and uncertainty, but also overwhelming love, which they channeled to “the job of building the better Jillian.” While their daughter had special needs, they refused to allow her to grow up needy—“Expect, Don’t Accept” became their mantra. Little did they know how ready Jillian was to meet their challenge.

Paul tells stories from Jillian’s mischievous childhood and moves to her early adulthood, tracing her journey to find happiness and purpose in her adult life, sharing endearing anecdotes as well as stories about her inspiring triumphs. Having graduated from high school and college, Jillian now works to support herself, and has met the love of her life and her husband-to-be, Ryan.

In An Uncomplicated Life, the parent learns as much about life from the child as the child does from the parent. Through her unmitigated love for others, her sparkling charisma, and her boundless capacity for joy, Jillian has inspired those around her to live better and more fully. The day Jillian was born, Paul says, was the last bad day. As he lovingly writes, “Jillian is a soul map of our best intentions”—a model of grace, boundless joy, and love for all of us.

Review

“Raw, real, touching and poignant--everything a memoir should be.” -- Huffington Post

“An expressive, nostalgic series of memories of living life with a special needs child.” -- Kirkus Reviews

“Affecting. ... This feel-good memoir will appeal to all parents of children with special needs.” -- Booklist

From the Back Cover

Jillian Daugherty was born with Down syndrome. The day her parents, Paul and Kerry, brought her home from the hospital, they were flooded with worry and uncertainty, but also with overwhelming love, which they channeled to "the job of building the better Jillian." They knew their daughter had special needs, but they refused to have her grow up needy. They were resolved that Jillian''s potential would not be limited by preconceptions of who she was or what she could be.

In this charming and often heart-stirring book, Paul tells stories about Jillian making her way through the world of her backyard and neighborhood, going to school in a "normal" classroom, learning to play soccer and ride a bike. As she grows older, he traces her journey through high school graduation, four years of college, and ultimately marriage to her boyfriend of 10 years. Through her unmitigated love for others, her sparkling charisma, and her boundless capacity for joy, Jillian has inspired those around her to live better and more fully. As Paul writes, "Jillian is a soul map of our best intentions."

About the Author

Paul Daugherty has been a sports columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer since 1994. He has covered nearly every major American sporting event, as well as five Summer Olympic Games. He is the author of Fair Game, a collection of his sports columns, and coauthor of books with Chad Johnson and Johnny Bench. He blogs daily at The Morning Line on Cincinnati.com. He lives in Loveland, Ohio, with his wife, Kerry.

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
216 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Stunning!
Reviewed in the United States on August 17, 2019
I started this book about 11:00 at night and read until 6 this morning. First of all, the writing is exquisite. In rich, lyrical language, this father tells the poignant story of life with his extraordinary daughter, Jillian, who was born with Down Syndrome. The never... See more
I started this book about 11:00 at night and read until 6 this morning. First of all, the writing is exquisite. In rich, lyrical language, this father tells the poignant story of life with his extraordinary daughter, Jillian, who was born with Down Syndrome. The never wavering determination of these parents to assure that Jillian is given the very best education and experiences possible is truly astounding. I laughed; I wept, and I rejoiced. This is one of the most unforgettable stories I have ever read. The conclusion of the book itself is wonderfully satisfying. Highly recommended.
3 people found this helpful
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P. K Sykes
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Inspiring, funny, honest, hopeful--don''t miss!
Reviewed in the United States on August 27, 2019
Many years ago, when I was about to be married and first married, my greatest fear that was that my husband and I might have a mentally handicapped child. I wish I could have read this book then. While the author is very open about the challenges of raising a child with... See more
Many years ago, when I was about to be married and first married, my greatest fear that was that my husband and I might have a mentally handicapped child. I wish I could have read this book then. While the author is very open about the challenges of raising a child with Down''s Syndrome, he also treasures her, and makes her a real person for the reader. He revels in her successes and sweetness, appropriately helps with her challenges, and shows humor throughout it all--never at the expense of his daughter. What an up-lifting book!
2 people found this helpful
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Diane Mumm
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
highly recommend!
Reviewed in the United States on May 24, 2015
This book was one of the best I have read regarding parenting a special needs child. I saw Paul and Jillian on Dr. Oz and immediately ordered the book intending to give it to some close friends who have their own amazing daughter. I read it in 2 days...smiling, sharing the... See more
This book was one of the best I have read regarding parenting a special needs child. I saw Paul and Jillian on Dr. Oz and immediately ordered the book intending to give it to some close friends who have their own amazing daughter. I read it in 2 days...smiling, sharing the joys, tears flowing as I felt the bittersweet moments. My son is 27, on the autism spectrum and I identified with so many of the same issues. Paul is an amazing writer and has written a beautiful, magical, poignant story. If I could buy one for all my fellow travelers I would! I did end up buying another copy to give away as I will enjoy reading this again and sharing with others!
6 people found this helpful
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Mia
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Exceptional Story Well Worth the Read
Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2020
Paul Daugherty''s book is even more powerful during this time of COVID-19. It is a story about hope, joy, and the indomitable spirit of a daughter who loves life, expects the best of others and always gives the best of herself. His book is a feast for the mind, soul, and... See more
Paul Daugherty''s book is even more powerful during this time of COVID-19. It is a story about hope, joy, and the indomitable spirit of a daughter who loves life, expects the best of others and always gives the best of herself. His book is a feast for the mind, soul, and heart. I learned, I reflected, I cried. A simple, yet powerful message that what matters is who we love and who loves us.
One person found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautiful
Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2019
This is a beautifully written book, it opens your eyes to what you dont know. I dont have a child with down syndrome but my best friend does and she''s a delightful, smart baby and this book showed me so much that I had to share it with her mom
One person found this helpful
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NJP (Ohio)
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Uplifting and Inspirational. I laughed, I cried, I learned!
Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2016
Great book of hope, faith, and most of all pro-active action and solid advocacy and parenting. Extremely inspirational to any parent of a child with special needs. Open and honest, Paul and Kerry Daugherty allow us into their lives, and the life of Jillian, to challenge and... See more
Great book of hope, faith, and most of all pro-active action and solid advocacy and parenting. Extremely inspirational to any parent of a child with special needs. Open and honest, Paul and Kerry Daugherty allow us into their lives, and the life of Jillian, to challenge and inspire us. A great read!
3 people found this helpful
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cb
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Nice Story - well written
Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2017
Very interesting and a nice story....i dd not like the references to debating with the school system on services. i felt that was the topic of the story instead of his daughter''s accomplishments.
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J Shal
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
LOVE
Reviewed in the United States on June 17, 2019
I bought this book as a gift for my elderly mother and she loved it. I would 10/10 recommend and the book was in great condition.
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Top reviews from other countries

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Love story between Jillian and her Family
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 12, 2015
A wonderful tribute to Jillian and her family and the love they shared. How they overcame all the obstacles life threw at them and how they celebrated every triumph no matter how big or small. A fantastic read I couldn''t put the book down. Thank you Paul Daugherty for...See more
A wonderful tribute to Jillian and her family and the love they shared. How they overcame all the obstacles life threw at them and how they celebrated every triumph no matter how big or small. A fantastic read I couldn''t put the book down. Thank you Paul Daugherty for sharing your family''s life with us.
2 people found this helpful
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Gwenny Mum
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
enjoyed the Father''s discovery of the the magic of his ...
Reviewed in Canada on October 31, 2017
enjoyed the Father''s discovery of the the magic of his daughter. With no experience or expectations regarding his baby who is diagnosed with having Down Syndrom it is such a learning experience for the young Father. He shares his trials and expectations and the reader feels...See more
enjoyed the Father''s discovery of the the magic of his daughter. With no experience or expectations regarding his baby who is diagnosed with having Down Syndrom it is such a learning experience for the young Father. He shares his trials and expectations and the reader feels they are part of the family. Very nicely written, thoroughly enjoyed the book.
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Joan Pyke
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A beautiful read
Reviewed in Australia on August 15, 2016
This was a beautiful story written by a father of a child with Downs Syndrome. It was enriching, sad, funny, positive and beautiful. What a wonderful life Jillian has had so far and what a caring, proactive and loving family she grew up in. Everyone has goals and dreams and...See more
This was a beautiful story written by a father of a child with Downs Syndrome. It was enriching, sad, funny, positive and beautiful. What a wonderful life Jillian has had so far and what a caring, proactive and loving family she grew up in. Everyone has goals and dreams and this family ensured their daughter achieved them. Well written book that had me in tears at times. Would thoroughly recommended this book
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Tom Steele
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wonderful story, well told
Reviewed in Australia on January 16, 2017
Heart warming and enlightening, informative and emotional. This is a good read for anyone with children to help them appreciate that the wonders and worries and warm times are to be lived and savoured no matter what. Highly recommended.
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Emma Davison
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Just brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 26, 2016
Amazingly written, I laughed out loud and shed happy tears reading this. Hats of to the Daugherty''s for raising a wonderful bright funny daughter. Good luck to you Jillian and Ryan, wishing you a long and happy future together xxx
One person found this helpful
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