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Recently I read My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin, the latter being a pseudonym for Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin. The book was first published in 1901. What is so amazing to me is that Ms. Franklin wrote the book when she was only sixteen. Her command of language and storytelling is incredible.
The story, told in first person, takes place in the Australian bush country during the mid- to late 1890s. It is fiction, yet autobiographical. Sybylla Melvyn is our highly precocious, talented, high-strung, self-centered, feminist-before-her-time, independent heroine. At times I empathized with her, at others I wanted to shake her.
It was a time when life was difficult for many in Australia. The era and place were both gritty and beautiful, as shared so perfectly by the author. Have your dictionary/smartphone handy because there were many terms/words unfamiliar to me. I also enjoyed looking up images of such things as kookaburras, goannas, various trees, etc.
The book is also a great love story, but.... How I wish I had come across a Harold Beecham in my life! There is a sequel entitled My Career Goes Bung, or entitled The End of My Career, which I hope to read also.
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The edition I read had a short biography of Franklin. She led a difficult, but fascinating life. I believe she managed to write seventeen books, but she felt that her first, My Brilliant Career, had been her best. I hope you'll read it and enjoy it. And please let me know if you do! I'm eager now to read more vintage books that take place in Australia.
PS: I am an Amazon Associate. Thank you so much for looking at these books (and you can always check with your local library). If you do enter Amazon and buy anything at all via one of my links, it costs you nothing extra and gives me a little credit for buying books for myself. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.