May online ebook club – My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin
This month we are celebrating the classics in our online ebook club with an Australian classic – My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin.
The story follows Sybella Melvin – a stubborn, intelligent country girl from an impoverished family. Sybella is sent to live with her grandmother where she attracts the attention of Harry Beecham. Sybella is soon forced to decide between matrimony and pursuing a career as a writer.
Franklin completed the novel when she was only 20 and sent it to Henry Lawson for review after it was rejected by several publishers. Lawson was so impressed (calling it ‘the first great Australian novel’) that he helped Franklin get the novel published in Britain. It has since become one of our most popular and lasting novels.
To help get you started, here are some guiding questions:
1. Do you agree with Henry Lawson’s assessment that this is the first great Australian novel?
2. Did the book have a positive influence or effect on you?
3. What do you think of the character of Sybella?
4. Do you think Franklin captured the essence of rural Australia?
5. Were you happy with the ending to this book?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this novel.
Or do you have another favourite classic Australian novel?