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.
Leslie on Goodreads wrote:
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.
I honestly really enjoyed Jillian's story! She is such an amazing, funny, caring person & aaaahhh this was great. So glad my teacher made us read this book.