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Publisher's Summary

Known for her outstanding performances on the groundbreaking television series The Good Wife and ER, Julianna Margulies deftly chronicles her life and her work in this deeply powerful memoir.

Named One of the Best Books of the Year by Good Housekeeping

“At once a tender coming-of-age story and a deeply personal look at a young woman making sense of the world against a chaotic and peripatetic childhood.” (Katie Couric)

As an apple-cheeked bubbly child, Julianna was bestowed with the family nickname “Sunshine Girl”. Shuttled back and forth between her divorced parents, often on different continents, she quickly learned how to be of value to her eccentric mother and her absent father. Raised in fairly unconventional ways in various homes in Paris, England, New York, and New Hampshire, Julianna found that her role among the surrounding turmoil and uncertainty was to comfort those around her, seeking organization among the disorder, making her way in the world as a young adult and eventually an award-winning actress.

Throughout, there were complicated relationships, difficult choices, and overwhelming rejections. But there were also the moments where fate, faith, and talent aligned, leading to the unforgettable roles of a lifetime, both professionally and personally - moments when chaos had finally turned to calm.

Filled with intimate stories and revelatory moments, Sunshine Girl is at once unflinchingly honest and perceptive. It is a riveting self-portrait of a woman whose resilience in the face of turmoil will leave listeners intrigued and inspired.

©2021 Julianna Margulies (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Over the course of her illustrious career on screen, Julianna Margulies has played any number of unforgettable characters but as this memoir proves, she might be most fascinating as herself.... Not every celebrity autobiography has a truly compelling story to tell, but this one does and tells it with style, humor, and flair.” (Town & Country)

“[A] thought-provoking and revelatory memoir.... Though Margulies’s anecdotes may be outside readers’ own realms of experience, she relates them with such intimacy and candor that readers might recognize in her a kindred spirit.... A deeply reflective narrative that will appeal to both Margulies’s fans and anyone who enjoys a warm and well-crafted memoir.” (Library Journal)

“Margulies...shares her path to stardom in this frank memoir.... Readers looking for salacious Hollywood tales won’t find them here; instead Margulies’s fans and all readers interested in TV careers will enjoy learning her origin story.” (Booklist)

What listeners say about Sunshine Girl

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Cringe-y at times, but entertaining

I feel like this book is perfect for Juliana Margulies super fans or the upper class. Since I’m neither, I didn’t love it. In fact, at certain points I was cringing and hard eye rolling. She seems like a sweet and genuine person, but sooo out of touch with what real struggle is.

She talks about “having” to waitress to make a living before she made it in acting, but she always had a rich father to fall back on for support if ever she needed. She laments not having a regular doctor as a kid and not going to the dentist for like two years. I know everyone has struggles and I am not trying to demean hers, but the complaints seemed quite out of touch with 99% of America and trite sometimes. She even complained about people recognizing her and trying to talk to her while purchasing a $300 pan at the store. Hard eye roll.

Having said all that, I listened to the whole thing and found lots of the story fun to listen to. So if you’re not already kind of angry about income inequality and the rich/poor divide, give it a listen!

28 people found this helpful

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Unexpectedly fabulous!

I saw her on the Jimmy Kimmel late night show. Just listening to her talk, I knew I had to get the book, which I did that night. I have listened to the entire book in two days and loved it. I feel like I know her. She reads her words so beautifully. It was a great listening experience. Needless to say, I loved it.

6 people found this helpful

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Julianna is an outstanding narrator and author.

You really learn about what Margulies went through as a child and as an actor and how she became this incredible woman.

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Great Book.

I have Loved Julianna Margulies since her first appearance on ER. Carol was my favorite character and still is to this day. Her book is great. Very real. I felt like I was listening to a good friend. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Julianna.

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  • 07-09-21

poor little rich girl I couldn't even finish this

all I can say is that I couldn't finish this book. I thought it was exciting but it was about how privileged her childhood was from traveling to country to country summer camp ballet.

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Very disappointing.

This book is remarkably short on all the stories I was hoping for yet goes on endlessly outlining countless casual friendships, insignificant events and a LOT of whining written to make it seem like it is not actually whining. I kept hoping the book would get better but the monotone is ever-present throughout. In a word: boring.

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Skip it

I wanted to like this book- and based on a podcast performance, was sure I would… but, I found the prose too fake and monotonous. The overall story was as boring as the narration. I just wanted it to be over.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful memoir

Loved every minute of this book. Juliana is not only a beautiful woman but also a beautiful soul.

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Talent and courage, insight and compassion

After the exhaustive memoir by Sharon Stone -- and I do mean exhaustive, I needed a week off! -- I cautiously approached an actor's memoir with the somewhat daunting "Sunshine" in the title. I did not want a "happy face" book, I wanted to delve into how Ms Margulies was able to capably transition from a "Carol Hathaway" to a "Alicia Florrick" with such ease -- I certainly never confused the two!

Whew! Delighted I made the leap! We can all relate to dealing with a trouble adolescence, warring parents, years in the service industry (I always did think Richard Simmons had the capacity of diabolical jerk behavior!) and the "aha!" moment when she became aware of her talent for the profession of acting.

And I do not for one silly microsecond consider her move to leave ER for the theatre, no matter how many thousand dollar bills were rained up her head, was a bad idea. Besides, we got Alicia later! Yay! Those b____es on "The Talk" just plain jealous!

Listen, sticking with the sometimes wonderful/sometimes demon boyfriend (or girlfriend) just ... happens. We see the potential, we remember the good times, it all seems just so damned hard to go. No harm, no full, only commisserations it took as long as it did. And her insight into the journey will assuredly be inspirational to many in the same situation.

So, again: delighted!

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Lovely Story

I don’t write many reviews but had to leave a review on this book. Great story and it flowed so well. I didn’t want to stop listening. I’m glad she narrated the book herself.

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  • Tara Hynes
  • 01-31-22

Love her, liked the book

There is no doubt JM is a great actress, she’s front-lined two of the greatest shows on TV. She has been in countless mini-series and plays and has made clever and brave choices in her acting career. She has led an interesting ‘unexpected’ life.. she comes from a wonderfully colourful family, a quirky mother and directionless father, she talks about finding love on her way via a few funny relationships .. she talks honestly about being a working parent in a busy job.. I wanted to love this book, I only liked it.

It felt a bit amateurish and clunky.. I loved some of the detail but other times I wished it would move a bit quicker.. I wanted a bit more pizzazz and drama and dare I say it.. gossip!! I think everyone deserves a great dentist- I don’t really need to hear ten pages of dialogue on choosing, meeting and visiting a dentist. I want to know about funny stories on set, anecdotes on entertainment, little snippets on actors idiosyncrasies..
I think I just thought a brave actor would have written a braver book. Maybe I’m being unfair as its a nice story of her life and I liked it. I just didn’t love it.

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  • Tricia
  • 11-22-21

Didn't want it to end

I gravitated to this book because I was a Good Wife fan, but I finished it because it was a good story. Juliana's life is an interesting one with lots of lessons learned. Her voice is like velvet, so soothing even when the narrative is hard. I loved it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-16-22

Captivating, beautifully orated by Juliana.

Firstly Juliana has the most beautiful spoken voice, expressive, captivating and wonderful. Her story is both interesting and diverse. Really intrigued to learn of the things which happened to her and shaped her in her life.
I listened to this within two days, it was the type of story which draws you in immediately and holds your attention.
Would highly recommend this both as an insight to Juliana's life and also as an interesting story.

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  • Oana
  • 07-13-22

Listened to it in less than a week

After listening to the Chelsea podcast episode with JM on, I was inspired to order the book straight away. Loved listening to it, the pace, the voice, the flow of the chapters, it all worked really well for me.

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  • MA82
  • 07-12-22

Beautifully written memoir

I thoroughly enjoyed about Julianna .. I am truly fascinated by her journey and the path she took. A great role model for women..

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  • Amanda Considine
  • 04-07-22

Definitely listen to this

Loved this book, her vulnerability and honesty. Could listen to this over again. It goes through all aspects of her life to date, her struggles against public opinion. I loved

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  • s j jones
  • 02-25-22

Loved it

I really enjoyed listening to this book, and Julianna has such a calming voice.

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  • Candice Seretin
  • 07-28-22

Loved Julianna’s story of her life growing up

I liked how Julianna was so honest and truthful in the way she told her life story. I also love how Julianna changed her voice in certain parts to show where other people were talking.
Julianna is someone I look up to, I have followed her career from her ER days all the way through until now.
What an amazing story and very well written. Thank you for sharing your struggles and triumphant moments in your life, and to come out at the end, being grateful for everything you have experienced. What a wonderful woman.

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  • Hazel V
  • 02-19-22

As strong as the characters she plays

When I was 12, Carol Hathaway was my favorite character in E.R. I loved how natural and strong she was. In some ways I found these qualities in the other roles Julianna played, including Alicia Florrick. I don't spend much time on TV or usually don't read autobiographies but for whatever reasons, I got the audiobook and listened to it in a day, unable to stop! What an absolute delight! Beautifuly written and narrated by the author herself. It felt nice to discover the strong woman playing these characters. I loved the honnesty, humility and humour. I was touched, captivated and had a good laugh! Thank you!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-11-22

Unexpected gem

I didn't really have any expectations. I knew that JM is a good actress. I'm also Jewish and wanted to hear her story. I only ever watched her in Good wife and I ll never forget her pale face in the beginning when she is standing next to her character s husband. This book is outstanding. Her story is unusual and huge part is her excellent reading which I enjoyed enormously.

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