Book Giveaway: A Major Adjustment

Just over 11 years ago I read a book that changed my life. You could win a copy and it might just change yours too (entry details at the bottom of the page). 

Win a copy of A Major Adjustment by Andy Merriman

A Book that Changed My Life

I'd stumbled on A Minor Adjustment, also a BBC Radio 4 comedy series, during a late night online research session, eyes filled with tears as I loaded my virtual basket with everything and anything with 'Down's syndrome' in the title.

Natty was only a few months old when it arrived, a time when my head was still saying I wasn't good enough to be her mum and my heart ached for the baby I thought we were expecting. "I can't do this," I remember thinking, "This wasn't what I signed up for."

Sarah Merriman receiving flowers at the launch of A Major Adjustment 

So when the book arrived with Sarah's beautiful smile adorning the front cover, I was drawn to it before any other. This book promised real life, family stories, humour and brutal honesty in equal measures and begged to be read before dry 'handbooks' about Down's syndrome.

The Power of Parents to Support Others

The book was like a warm hug. Dad Andy Merriman and his wife Allie managed to capture their experiences so perfectly on paper and they described exactly how I was feeling in an unsentimental way, at a time when I felt utterly alone and even guilty about my thoughts. 

I realised for the first time that I wasn't the only one that had over-thought every outfit choice for my baby with Down's, that facing heart surgery raises some surprising mixed emotions for parents and that Allie's initial numb shock felt familiar. Reading a letter to the Merriman's from an adoring father in America was the moment I realised that my baby too was unique, precious, and yes, beautiful.

As each chapter passed I felt more and more confident about being Natty's Mum, that I would be able to face the challenges that lie ahead, as well as relishing in the wonderment that was this slightly different path we were on.

Hayley Goleniowska with her precious copies of
A Minor Adjustment and A Major Adjustment

Book Launch

Fast forward 11 years and I was standing in a crowded room in a Hotel in London, asking Sarah herself to sign that well-thumbed original copy, whilst holding the latest book inspired by her, (which also happens to contain a quote from me.) It was an emotional moment indeed, a real reminder of just how far we've come. 

We were gathered together with the Merriman family, who I had never met before but who felt like long-standing, much-loved and trusted friends, along with supporters such as Michel Roux Jnr, comedy actor Sally Phillips, Shifting Perspectives and I Don't Care photographer Fiona Bailey, Dr Who actor Peter Davison, and the Foxes Academy team, to celebrate the launch of the second book in the series.

Sarah Merriman bowled Michel Roux Jnr over when filming Kitchen Impossible

A Major Adjustment is Andy's story of how their remarkable daughter became a remarkable adult. But don't worry if you haven't read the now out-of-print A Minor Adjustment, Andy has included (in his own words) "all the best bits" in this update. 

Michel Roux Jnr, who Sarah worked with on the hit Channel 4 TV series Kitchen Impossible, said in his foreword, "For me, Sarah's success was never in doubt. She is a star!"

Win a Copy of A Major Adjustment by Andy Merriman

I haven't finished reading my copy of A Major Adjustment yet, but I purchased a second copy, signed by Sarah herself, to give away here on Downs Side Up

One lucky reader will get a brand new signed copy worth £9.99. Enter via the widget below. The winner will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter on 3rd April 2018 at midday: 

The book is also available via Amazon UK and the Down's Syndrome Association priced £9.99 with all profits going to the charity. 

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