An Uncomplicated Life

  • by Paul Daugherty
  • Narrated by Robert McCollum
  • 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very Touching

Would you consider the audio edition of An Uncomplicated Life to be better than the print version?

It was really cool that the author did a custom intro himself that isn't actually in the book, so I prefer this format for this one!


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Lots of laugh and a little bit of tears too :) Overall, just a very touching father with a wonderful daughter.


Any additional comments?

The song the author sings (for a minute) is super cute!!

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- Amazon Customer

I wanted to Like This...

Over the years I have known several families whose children have Down Syndrome. I wanted to read this book about a family that had high expectations for their daughter, to acknowledge the reality of Down Syndrome, but also allowing her to chart the course of her own life.
I started out really liking this book. It's written in a generally accessible and readable style, and the narrator is quite good. But as the book continued, I began to grow more and more uncomfortable. As a person with a disability myself, I am well familiar with the dynamic of "forced" high-achieving by family members for their child, almost like Down Syndrome doesn't exist at all. The low-expectations dynamic is equally dangerous, because it stifles growth and a desire for the child (and later adult) to explore and be independent, and to learn things that may *gasp* get them hurt; but I don't know if forcing a child out of the stereotypes of "over-friendliness" by having them make eye contact and shake hands with adults at an early age is much better.
The author completely lost my readership when (paraphrasing) he wrote that HE viewed Jillian as his daughter; his wife viewed her as a monument under construction.
That phrase will not soon leave me... and not in a good way.
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- Daryl

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-05-2016
  • Publisher: Audiobooks.com Publishing