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Sunshine Girl

Written by: Julianna Margulies
Narrated by: Julianna Margulies
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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

What the critics say

“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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What a life ❤️

I’ve always been a big fan of Julianna’s, but this book took that to the next level. I felt like I was right there with her throughout the trials, tribulations, and successes, and there to take in the fairytale ending.

For anyone who feels as though they are not living the life they are meant to — this book is for you. Thank you, Julianna.

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Beautiful 💜

Beautiful, I loved it, I was able to relate to some of her relationships in the book.

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Good but way too much time spent on her youth

When I think of a biography written by an actor, I would expect more information on their acting career. This is not the case here. Too much time is spent justifying her feelings towards her parents and how she was schlepped back and forth from the US to the UK by her mother. I get that it made her who she is but I still would have liked to hear more about her adult life and how she felt filming ER and The Good Wife.

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Great book

Loved it and Julianna did a great job narrating it. Highly recommend. Loved it a lot.

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Loved it!

I listened to this biography on my commute to work & actually could hardly wait to get back in my car to listen more! Julianna’s voice & the way she pronounced words was what I noticed right away! I didn’t even know the book existed until I saw a quick clip of Oprah interviewing Julianna. I was intrigued as I loved her character on The Good Wife. This book did not disappoint! I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about where she started & where she is now. I would definitely listen to it again.

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Only unexpected is the whining about her privilege

I went into this memoir with no particular pre-conceptions about Ms. Margulies. I’d never seen The Good Wife, and had only vague memories of ER, a show I sometimes caught when my toddler was sleeping. But I was intrigued by the subtitle and thought I’d give it a go.
First, this is a very ordinary life for a white girl born to parents who had the luxury of choosing to do unconventional things. But whining about 5 years of horse riding and horse camp, of a childhood spanning the great cities of London, Paris and New York, and not even bothering to look at all critically at the Steiner/Waldorf ideology that still educates in pursuit of creating a “superior race” from the best stock is, at best, tedious. Millions upon millions of kids grow up with parents who divorce with far greater acrimony, and far far worse than the somewhat benign neglect and somewhat narcissistic personality of a parent — Themes Ms. Margulies really does not delve into but repeatedly glances off.
By the end of the book she is so self-impressed that she refers to her days on set as a pretend-lawyer as “having to be in court for 5 hours”. That’s not an actor taking her craft seriously; it’s bloody delusional.
And the disdain for colleagues she perceives as inadequately serious taints whatever truisms there *might be* about gender issues in the workforce. Yet again, Ms. Margulies forgets the most working mothers do not have the privileges she enjoys. She was hardly down in the trenches with the rest of us.
By the end of the audio-book I was shouting aloud, “Oh please!” and “You can’t be serious!”
Enough. Listen/read at your own discretion.

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  • JJ
  • 2021-06-22

Super!

It was such a delight listening, fascinating stories. I enjoyed her narration very much.

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Excellence. Pure excellence.

What a fantastic book. I was so enthralled by her story. I couldn't believe some of it and yet felt so connected to her. Well spoken and easy to listen. I want to be her friend.

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Interesting compelling story told well

Loved her voice and felt the story was told more meaningfully as it was hers. Interesting life, person, perspective. Enjoyed it very much.

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refreshing story

this was a great story, very well narratorated, I couldn't turn it off. I didn't want it to end.

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  • Jeannette L.
  • 2021-06-21

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!

30 people found this helpful

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  • Edward Barck
  • 2021-05-08

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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  • Jennifer Baratta She/Her
  • 2021-05-07

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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  • S. Zapata
  • 2021-05-09

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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  • Ok
  • 2021-07-09

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Barbara W.
  • 2021-07-05

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Karen S.
  • 2022-07-06

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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  • Child Development teacher
  • 2021-07-13

Beautiful memoir

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • C. A. Cameron
  • 2021-05-13

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!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Pamela A. Brown-Wilson
  • 2023-02-04

Enjoyable

Such an enjoyable listen. She has always seemed the antithesis of the usual “Hollywood” star and now I know why. She is a real person who has never been consumed by the hype. She would be fun to have a coffee or drink with after a yoga class. I am going to order the 3 books she speaks of in her own book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2022-08-30

Interesting and easy if english not mother tongue

I bought it in english in order to improve my English understanding
Juliana speaks clearly and it is very pleasant to listen to.
I had a good time !

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-05-31

Just great!

Great story, great job narrating it, her voice is wonderful! A wonderful book about the life of a wonderful person! Please narrate more books!