You might remember that a couple of months ago I read and reviewed My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin. My Career Goes Bung is not surprisingly the sequal to My Brilliant Career, and is just as good.
In this book, the true Sybylla Melvin is revealed. More specifically, it is revealed that the story contained in My Brilliant Career is actually a novel that Sybylla wrote as a young girl and My Career Goes Bung is the story of Sybylla as she writes the book, has it published and then rises to fame. After her book is published, the public tide her her town is against her. However, it gives the opportunity to launch herself if Sydney society, a chance that she relishes at first, but comes to find not nearly as satisfying as she expected. She has adventure, and tests out love and lust (in an old fashioned way of course!), but eventually finds herself returned to Possum Gully and back to her old life.
The Sybylla Melvin in My Career Goes Bung is very similar to the character in My Brilliant Career. I commented that I didn't entirely understand the Sybylla Melvin from My Brilliant Career, and now I think that perhaps that is because she was a work of fiction in a work of fiction itself (if that makes sense). The 'true' Sybylla Melvin in this sequel can at times be just as frustrating, but she is a lot easier to understand nonetheless. I still found her relationship with men rather frustrating, but perhaps I am not being open enough to the reality of how feminism must have played out in during the time within which this book is set.
I liked the image of old Sydney as it was portrayed in this book. You could picture Sydney as it is today, but less built up and more leafy.
I am sure that for more literary people would have more to say. I found the book interesting and original and I'm really glad I read the sequel, so many more things were explained and it was satisfying to read a sequel with such an original twist. I definitely recommend that you read the pair.