My Brilliant Career, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (4 ratings)


First published in 1901, this Australian classic recounts the live of 16-year-old Sybylla Melvyn. Trapped on her parents' outback farm, she simultaneously loves bush life and hates the physical burdens it imposes. For Sybylla longs for a more refined, aesthetic lifestyle -- to read, to think, to sing -- but most of all to do great things.Suddenly her life is transformed. Whisked away to live on her grandmother's gracious property, she falls under the eye of the rich and handsome Harry Beecham. And soon she finds herself choosing between everything a conventional life offers and her own plans for a 'brilliant career'.


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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

A growing up story, a bit melodramatic and some of the characters are a bit of a caricature but it was written by a sixteen year old (wish I could write that well)

Review by

A very engaging, lively style of writing - especially considering it was written by a 16-year-old girl - but it was marred for me simply by the fact that I found the protagonist rather unsympathetic. She is a believable depiction of a headstrong teenage girl living in difficult circumstances, but I just didn't like her very much.

Review by

Written by Franklin at the tender age of 16 (16 for goodness' sake!), My Brilliant Career is the story of Sybylla Melvyn, a young woman growing up in the Australian bush. Her father, once a successful horse breeder, makes bad business decisions and ends up a drunk; her mother is struggling to cope with her husband and eight children. Sybylla dreams of a better life, one full of culture and intellectual conversation, and rejoices when she is invited to live with her more wealthy grandmother where she can read and play the piano.Sybylla is a very unsympathetic heroine. She's self-absorbed, snobbish and melodramatic. She can be full of self-pity and is obsessed with her ugliness (as she perceives her appearance) and is a bit prone to martyrdom. Sybylla's life is full of the dramatic ups and downs of adolescence but she has very clear opinions about marriage and the role of women in Australian society. I think it is these characteristics that draw the reader in and make you want to find out what happens to her.As might be expected from a novel written by a 16 year old, the writing style is much like Sybylla herself - often melodramatic and overblown - but I think this makes the first person narrative feel entirely authentic

Review by

Not a book for romantics - nothing is romanticised, not the past, rural life, love or marriage. The protagonist is prickly and contrary and at times you want to slap her, but she sticks to her principles and I really liked her.

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