BOOK RATING: The Story 5 / 5 ; The Writing 5 / 5

My Brilliant Career by Miles FranklinBOOK REVIEW

Exceptional. Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career truly deserves all the accolades it has received over the last century.

It was a ground-breaking novel when it was published in 1901, filled with free thought, irrepressible spirit and passion that remains a delight to read over a century later.

The heroine and narrator, Sybylla Melvyn is a feisty and independent young woman who feels trapped by the society and social situation she finds herself in. She dares to be different and faces the full consequences of her actions, however unjust they may seem.

I found myself re-reading passages, in admiration for Franklin’s turn of phrase that masterfully encapsulates mood through matter-of-fact observations.

Here’s just one example:

“At the time of my departure for Caddagat my father had been negotiating with beer regarding the sale of his manhood; on returning I found that he had completed the bargain, and held a stamped receipt in his miserable appearance and demeanour.”

This is an endearing story that explores the many forms of love – romance, loyalty and duty. It highlights the fragility and fickleness of wealth and power, and shows us that true strength can be displayed in many forms. I cannot recommend this book more highly.

SubscribeFind out more about this book: My Brilliant Career (The Book Depository); My Brilliant Career ir?t=bookbookrevi 20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0207186952(Amazon); My Brilliant Career (Booktopia)

This book counts towards my participation in my Aussie Author Challenge and the Global Reading Challenge (Australasia).

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  1. Shannon – The author's real name was actually Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin – her use of the 'male' portion of her name was probably a reflection of the position of women in society in the late 1800s – good luck in the comp!

  2. Becky – I totally agree that the character Sybylla was very perplexing. I came to the conclusion that we as readers weren't meant to completely understand Sybylla because she didn't really understand herself or her own motives much of the time. Her conflicting behaviours were a symptom of the struggle she had choosing between her desires and the obligations and societal structure of the time. But perhaps I'm over analysing it :)

  3. I read this last year so unfortunately I can't use it for this challenge, but I really liked it. I have posted my review of the book in the Mr Linky. You can see from the review that when I read it I didn't really understand Sybylla. I understood a little better from having read My Career Goes Bung, but all the same. Im not quite sure I 100% understood her in either book.

  4. Mummazappa – I totally know what you mean, I'm getting sidetracked (in a wonderful way) by books not on my original list also, but that's all part of the fun I suppose! Glad you're enjoying the challenge!

  5. hmmm, bout time i read this. this challenge is making me read all kinds of aussie books that aren't on my original list, and making me neglect my selections! i'm not complaining however, this is awesome :-)