About time this Aussie girl read this book, written by a fellow Aussie girl Miles Franklin the iconic Australian author, has penned this classic, written when she was barely an adult herself She was a woman born of another era Her times were meant to be spent, toiling the land or should I say house , performing house duties and supporting her family that was lacking money She was better than that well she knew she was better spent bettering herself and continuing the continuance of lifelong learning she yearned to be able to write, perform music and use her cleverness for something better Sybylla is 16 and this is her story I am not overly romantic or have any grandiose visions of happily ever afters or needing a man to complete a picture of happiness, but even I was disappointed for her Miles comments that there is no plot, as her life does not contain one or anyone else that she knows has one either There is too much work to be toiled than to have the luxury of a plot Harry Beecham calling her Syb made me sad as he was lovely There was also another lovely scene where Sybylla talks of Harry s lovely large comforting hands I borrowed the physical copy after listening to this on audio, but searching for a little paragraph to place the quote here was too hard An interesting classic that has its little bit of relevance today.As an after thought, and after perusing a lovely hard copy that was donated to the University library where I work, I would not recommend listening to the audio version Too much to be missed out on in regards to the poetry. My Brilliant Career Is The Story Of Sybylla, A Headstrong Young Girl Growing Up In Early Th Century Australia Sybylla Rejects The Opportunity To Marry A Wealthy Young Man In Order To Maintain Her Independence As A Consequence She Must Take A Job As A Governess To A Local Family To Which Her Father Is Indebted My Brilliant Career Is An Early Romantic Novel By This Popular Australian Author Hmm, I ve always said that Jane Eyre is without a doubt my 1 favorite book After today, this is in close running for the spot So much to think about Sigh I hope my review to come later will do this book justice. 3.5 sSybylla Melvyn was the eldest of her siblings and living in poverty with her parents in rural NSW in the late 1800s She fought with her mother constantly, was wilful and headstrong and after being told by her mother continually that she was ugly and useless, Sybylla believed it all The day came that she was sent to live with her maternal grandmother and aunt on a property which was the opposite of her family home she flourished under their care, enjoyed music and the arts and the company of genteel companions But her headstrong nature and constant assurance that she wasn t worthy of anyone s love would drive all around her to distraction When she met young Harold Beecham, wealthy owner of the adjoining property, his quietness and seeming lack of emotion caused Sybylla some angst After a time a sudden and unexpected change of circumstances meant Harold departed while Sybylla left the comfort of her grandmother s home for a position as governess for a number of slovenly children in an equally filthy home I m glad I read this very Australian classic the descriptions of the harsh country in the never ending drought, the hard work of property owners to make ends meet, the struggle of families to put food on the table what a terrible time those long ago days were Sybylla was a difficult character to like her arrogance on the one hand and low opinion of herself on the other made her someone I felt the great need to slap Again and again Anyone who hasn t read this classic Australian novel which seems like an autobiography, but isn t by the wonderful Miles Franklin Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin most definitely should do so. Miles Franklin Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin is probably Australia s most revered female writer My Brilliant Career is her very first book, published in 1901 when she was barely 21 It was hugely successful, but she eventually withdrew it from publication until after her death, because it upset her that so many people believed it to be autobiographical It probably was so, but like most new writers, she perhaps didn t think others would make the connections.It s a passionate book, both about life and love, and about the Australian bush The heroine, Sybylla Melvyn, is probably as boisterous and passionate as Franklin was herself The writing is of its time it s wordy and descriptive, often overblown by today s preferences, but the fierceness with which she loves the country and its people carries the novel through Sometimes I wanted to slap Sybylla often in fact but she was a girl on a mission her own life and nothing was going to stop her Not even the perfect man, when he appeared on the horizon She was an early Australian feminist.Miles Franklin went on to write another seven novels under her name, and seven as Brent of Bin Bin , in an effort to hide her identity She also wrote several non fiction books.It s a masterfully written book by such a young first time writer, especially for its time But you need to be prepared for long wordy, reflective passages Just go with it.It almost seems cheeky to give it a rating so I ll just go with 5. I have a bit of a love hate relationship with this book.For its time, and the fact that it was written by Franklin when she was a teenager , it is a brilliant novel The writing ability that Franklin had so young is amazing she manages to capture so much of Australia, and her protagonist, Sybylla, lives and breathes from the first moment she steps onto the page.I did find Sybylla to be a frustrating protagonist, due to her general inability to decide on what she wants or who she wants , but that frustrating nature is part of what makes her feel real Even when she was annoying me with her indecision and mood swings, I found myself wishing fervently that she would get what she wanted if she could only decide what it was.I m really glad that I picked this up as part of the Australian Women s Writer s Challenge, since I d shamefully not read any of Franklin s work before I find myself awed by her talent, and deeply impressed with how much she worked to change the face of Australian literature. Sybylla is headstrong, feisty, opinionated and independent At the start of the book she is a teenager growing up in rural Australia in the 1890s in a very poor household with an alcoholic father and a mother who has come from money and is now living in poverty.To Sybylla s relief, her much wealthier Grandmother asks to take her for a time to straighten her out and Sybylla finds a much comfortable life, until she is ultimately forced to take a role as a governess and decide what her future career shall be Wife Governess Spinster daughter I absolutely loved the time and place It is so different to the Australia I know, but also had the familiar descriptions of oppressive heat, dry ground and smell of eucalyptus The writing is very well done and is interesting to think about how Ms Franklin was able to get support from Henry Lawson to have this published with what must have been quite a controversial main character for the time.As the book reached its conclusion, however, I really found Sybylla quite irritating I was hoping for a bit personality growth and maturity and I was actually left really disappointed with the ending Although I suppose that is what also makes this a unique book as the ending was quite unusual for the time and unexpected.A classic I am glad to have finally read I was expecting a much enjoyable read than this since I have mainly enjoyed the Australian novels I have read in the past This is a classic and there is no doubt that this writer had talent and I can see why she later made a career out of writing, but this novel, which was written when she was 16 has a protagonist who was apparently ahead of her time yes and no, since there were others of that time with the same commitment to not marry, and even before her time, although it was certainly rare , but overall I found her rather selfish and short sighted This and her treatment of one of the characters spoiled what might have been an enjoyable read, once I got past the beginning of the book, which I really didn t like There were entire stretches that I enjoyed, and I thought it would be a three star read, but, alas, they were not enough of the book to make it so.There is no summary here, because there is one on the book description. About a year ago I realised, with the exception of Nick Cave, I d never actually read any books by Australian authors and that I should probably fix that I throughly enjoyed this book I couldn t quite believe it was written by a 16 year old It was sort of the anti Little House on the Praire Here being a poor agricultural worker was very hard work, people went hungary and people lost what little they had very easily There were drunken fathers who ruined lives and kindly neighbours who helped out The book was also a little the opposite of Jane Austen as while there was a wealthy landowner who fell for the young heroine she definitely did NOT fall in love with him back and spent most of the book trying to escape his marriage proposals I have to say I really enjoyed the character of Sybylla She was highly opinionated She was disatisfied with life and wanted , music, literature and culture Yet she gave up on these things to maintain her own independence She was a very strong willed person and yet the same time suffered from very low self esteem, to the point where it crippled her ability to make good descisions She came across as somewhat manic depressive, blissfully happy and then having a depressive breakdown Yet her emotions were very real and her discussions very frank I loved the way she spoke very openly about the problems of her life and the society she was living in From the sexism, to the drinking to the droughts If she reminded me of anyone it was a little of Claudine from Collette s novels Though perhaps slightly intelligent and insightful But I think the two of them would have made a truly fantastic couple This really was a fantastic book and I have already bought a copy of the sequal and am really looking forward to reading it. Henry Lawson famously avoided making an opinion on the girlishly emotional parts of this book, so this girl reader is going out on a limb to say that it is precisely those parts that make this book worth reading In refusing to give us a romantic heroine who plays by the rules of the genre, Miles Franklin has created a rare and fascinating character Instead of reassuring us, Franklin leaves open the crucial questions of what is good conduct in a young woman, and what is a price worth paying to secure financial security The teenage Sybylla is flamboyant, disrespectful and given to frequent solipsism She is driven almost mad by her lack of options as a poor and apparently ugly little bush girl and despite the obvious economic risks refuses to conform or even apologise for that lack of conformity where this would imply divergence with her own conscience Ralph Waldo Emerson as author of Self reliance would have been proud Or would he Miles Franklin was way ahead of her time in giving a young woman the right to sacrifice the prospect of husband and family for her own conscience Yes, it s Australian, but it s not the cloying nineteenth century morality tale you might expect, and it s far easier to read than the nineteenth century English novels, with a galloping rhythm and a great ear for dialogue Chapter Twelve was the low point for me After that I began to seriously appreciate Miles Franklin for creating a complex, often annoying and thoroughly likeable character in Sybylla Penelope Melvyn Happy Australia Day to lazy, ungrateful sheilas everywhere.
Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin was born in 1879 in rural Australia My Brilliant Career, her first novel, was published to much excitement and acclaim She moved to Sydney where she became involved in feminist and literary circles and then onto the USA in 1907.She was committed to the development of a uniquely Australian form of literature, and she actively pursued this goal by supporting write
- 280 pages
- My Brilliant Career
- Miles Franklin
- 13 September 2019 Miles Franklin