Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Brilliant Career - Miles Franklin

Oh, hi. Remember when I used to do this blogging thing? Yeah, me too...


I actually finished this one about three weeks ago, and just kept on forgetting to actually review it. Whoops.

So. My Brilliant Career. It's the story of Sybylla, a teenage girl growing up in rural Australia in the 1890s. Her father makes bad decisions and ends up dirt poor. The family try to scrounge a living together, but the drought hits and all the animals start dying. So Sybylla's reasonably rich grandmother takes her off her parents' hands with the hopes of marrying her off or turning her into a governess. But Sybylla wants to do something more with her life, and starts writing about her life.

Sybylla was a FABULOUS character. She's sassy and fiercely independent and often talks in all caps. She'd rather hang out with the shearers and the grooms than with people of her own class. In short, she feels like a teenager struggling her way through a world where she's expected to be an adult already.

It's full of incredible characters and funny moments and amazing writing.

But then I hit My Career Goes Bung. And...it was not good. The basic gist of it is that everything we knew in My Brilliant Career was what Sybylla had written. In My Career Goes Bung, she tells us that huge parts of My Brilliant Career were fictional. There was no Harold Beecham. She had no siblings. Her mother and grandmother were both vastly different characters.

So basically? We had to get to know Sybylla all over again. And I didn't like Writer Sybylla nearly as much as the character she'd apparently created. Especially when she was dumped into an all-new environment with all-new characters.

In summary, I gave the omnibus book 4 stars, but it was more like 4.5 stars for My Brilliant Career and 3 stars for My Career Goes Bung.

Have you read this? What did you think?

K xx

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