"What began as a simple exercise in self-reflection eventually grew into a memoir," says The Good Wife actress of her upcoming book

Julianna Margulies
Julianna Margulies
| Credit: Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

Julianna Margulies knows all about "resilience" — and she's writing about it in her new memoir.

PEOPLE can exclusively reveal that The Good Wife actress is writing Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life, in which she opens up about navigating the "turmoil" of being a child of divorced parents, her journey to becoming an award-winning actor, and her complex romantic relationships.

"After completing The Good Wife, I had time to look back on my life and career," Margulies, 54, says in a statement of her Emmy-winning performance on the hit show. "What began as a simple exercise in self-reflection eventually grew into a memoir. When I was a baby, my mother called me her 'Sunshine Girl.' This book recounts the chaotic, unconventional childhood my parent’s choices gave me, and the choices I made as an adult because of them."

"It is both a coming of age story and an introspection about being a working mother and wife, trying to juggle everything while remaining the 'Sunshine Girl' I thought everyone expected," she continues. "I hope it gives readers a candid look into my journey to becoming an actress with all the highs and lows as I navigated my way to this life I never expected."

Credit: Ballantine Books

The book will be published by Ballantine Books, a division of Penguin Random House, on May 4, 2021. It's described as a "riveting self-portrait of a woman whose resilience in the face of instability will leave readers intrigued and inspired."

Beyond winning awards for her performance as Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife, Margulies was also recognized for her time as Carol Hathaway in ER. (She's an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award winner.) More recently, she starred on Billions, The Hot Zone and Dietland. 

But Margulies is also a dedicated wife and mother. In 2007, she married lawyer Keith Lieberthal and gave birth to their son, Kieran, two months later. In 2013, she was on the cover of Good Housekeeping and discussed the decision to wait to marry.

"I feel very grateful that I had the courage to say no when I did and say yes when I could, that I waited to find the right mate and to have this little family," Margulies told the magazine at the time. "There’s something about this time in my life where I feel like it’s never going to get better."

Julianna Margulies and Keith Lieberthal
The actress with her husband
| Credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty

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Originally, the actress thought she was "not the marrying kind." But her mother – who split with Margulies’s father when she was just a year old – convinced her to be open to the idea of matrimony.

"She said, 'Oh, honey, every woman should get married. I loved being married … Just try it at least once,'" Margulies told the outlet.

The star was officially convinced after she met Lieberthal at a friend’s birthday party.

"I said to him, 'Listen, I’m going to be leaving in 10 minutes because I’m sure you’re an actor and I have sworn off [your type],'" she said, according to Good Housekeeping. "And he said, 'Well, that’s good. I’m a lawyer.' Then he poured me a big glass of red wine, I stayed the entire dinner – and that was it."