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Sun Shine Down: A Memoir by [Marchenko, Gillian]
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Sun Shine Down: A Memoir Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Length: 138 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Stunning memoir. A must-read for parents of children with special needs, but anyone would do well to immerse themselves in Marchenko’s story.
—Suzanne Kamata, editor of the anthology Love You to Pieces: Creative Writers on Raising a Child with Special Needs

Shimmering beauty, powerful. Marchenko brought me to new levels of awareness regarding the struggles of a special needs family.
—Bill Giovannetti, author of Secrets to a Happy Life

Honest, real, raw—Sun Shine Down is a page-turner with an important message.
—Mary E. DeMuth, author of The Wall Around Your Heart

Incredibly moving, beautifully written. Captivates its reader from the very beginning. Packed with authenticity and raw emotion, Marchenko invites us to witness her incredible journey in parenting a special needs child.
—Jenny Lee Sulpizio, author of Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe

Ths book is as refreshing as it is bold. Strong new voice in a sea of mediocre non-fiction.
—Kim de Blecourt, author of Until We All Come Home: A Harrowing Journey, a Mother’s Courage, a Race to Freedom

A heart-wrenching story of mothering through the unexpected—and the personal transformation that comes from parenting a child that is different than you planned.
—Alexandra Kuykendall, author of The Artist’s Daughter: A Memoir; Leader and Mom Content Editor, MOPS International (Mothers of Preschoolers)

From the very first page, Marchenko tugs the heartstrings of anyone who has ever experienced—or wanted to experience—parenthood, leaving us with a broadened view of the universe and a deeper understanding of what it really means to love one another. Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Into the Free

Gillian Marchenko's Sun Shine Down is a moving account of the birth of her third daughter, Polina. She describes her depression after Polly's birth and her own difficulty in loving her child. Beautifully written, this memoir is hopeful without being glib." —Susan Olasky, World magazine

About the Author

Gillian Marchenko is a writer and national speaker who lives in Chicago with her husband Sergei and four daughters. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Chicago Parent, Thriving Family, Gifted for Leadership, Literary Mama, Today’s Christian Woman, MomSense Magazine, Charlottesville Family, EFCA Today, and the Tri-City Record. She is also the Vice President of GiGi’s Playhouse Chicago, a Down syndrome Achievement Center.

Product Details

  • File Size: 247 KB
  • Print Length: 138 pages
  • Publisher: T. S. Poetry Press (August 25, 2013)
  • Publication Date: August 25, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ES54MXY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #618,319 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Meredith Cornish on August 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
Marchenko tells a story that is all her own, as she walks through what many of us would find unimaginable- surgery in a foreign country and the premature birth of a child she didn't know would have Down syndrome. She draws you in to the maternity ward with her accurate and detailed descriptions of a Ukrainian hospital. As a mother of a child with Down syndrome, I find myself in many of Marchenko's pages. She relates the raw emotions that many experience as well as the explicit love and joy that she eventually discovers. She draws a beautiful picture of a desired pregnancy and the dreams of her unborn child and the roller coaster she is taken on as she grieves what she thought would be. Most of all she learns the lessons her daughter has to teach her. This is a story of faith and redemption, without the omission of `real life' even when it isn't pretty. Though every diagnosis of a child is different, most parents experiencing a life-altering diagnosis for their child will intimately relate with Marchenko and her story.

Sun Shine Down is an honest and moving story that envelops the reader from beginning to end.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I began reading this as a friend and colleague of Gillian's, and it only took a few sentences before I realized this was going to be one of the best reads I've found all year. She draws you in with her skillful weaving of words and ideas, and keeps you there with the sheer story itself. If you've ever had life throw you a curve ball, this will resonate, encourage, and challenge you toward surprising joy. Get one, get one for a friend. This is a keeper.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"sun shine down" is a beautiful, honest, raw and real account of a contemporary life- the life of a bi-continental, bicultural family; the life of a pastor's wife and mother of three; the life of a woman struggling with trauma, grief, and depression in the wake of the birth of her third daughter, diagnosed with down syndrome as a critically-ill newborn following a traumatic delivery in the ukraine; and the emerging life of a special needs child, whose arrival transforms her family's once quiet, cozy, and (relatively) pedestrian life into a chaotic, uncertain, over-scheduled, and emotionally-charged, turbulent existence. the book takes its reader on a satisfying, quickly-paced, and truly transformative journey with the author's growing family. "sun shine down" reads with plenty of forward motion without losing its narrative grip on the now. the author anchors us firmily and poignantly in the present and enriches the narrative's depth by including plush and colorful thematic nods to the past. at the end of this less-than- one-day read, i feel the authenticity of the author's continuing metamorphosis and a powerful connection to her, her husband, and the three little lives she also chronicles. author gillian marchenko weaves a rich and arresting web of words, facts, and emotions in a debut memoir worthy not only of praise but reprise.

my only criticism of marchenko's "sun shine down" is that is not a long enough read. though artfully written, the story ended rather abruptly. admittedly, it is hard to bookmark, bookend, and bisect real life, to determine whether to include or exclude life experiences based on their 'worthiness' and 'relevance' to the narrative's content and structure.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gillian Marchenko shared the secrets of her life after the birth of her daughter Polly with an honesty that very few of us ever find even with ourselves. I know many families with children who have special needs and we all have different stories about the love we share with our children, and them with us. I want to thank Gillian for sharing her story because after all few families really have the fairy tale version... No matter what they say out loud. And while I am certain the truth was hard to put down in words for all to see, I am also certain that somewhere a mother or father will read Gillian's story and realize that it is ok to grieve and to find happiness in their own time and in their own way.
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Format: Paperback
Gillian Marchenko skillfully lets the readers into her world as she writes about giving birth and parenting a child with special needs. It is a world of struggle and doubt but also a world of beauty and faith. If you like memoirs, honest stories about life's surprises, or just great writing, you should read Sun Shine Down. I highly recommend it.
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This is not a sad story. This is a story of expecting something to be horrible, and finding out it is not. The author writes in stunning prose, with a gift for an honest portrayal of feelings many of us recognize but are afraid to admit. Not just for parents of special needs children, but for anyone who's come across a frightening surprise in life and can't imagine coming out the other end. Spoiler alert: you can. Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
I can't imagine what it would be like to have your world stop for a while. This book helps me to see the struggle that Marchenko and her family went through as her world changed with Polly's diagnosis. The vivid pictures she paints with words took me into places where I have not walked.

Sun Shine Down created an empathy for broken parents as they put back together the picture of their child into the way that God sees them. Although imperfect in the world's eyes, the children with special needs are precious in His sight. Hope, healing and heartfelt honesty are here.

I was blessed to have this book shared with me, and expect that it will bless others.
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