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