I have wanted to see the movie version of An Education ever since I read about it and saw a preview - the glamorous life of a teenage London girl in the 1960's seeking to escape her working/middle class upbringing through an affair with a much older and more experienced man - sounds just like the dreams I had as a teenager growing up in rural Australia in the 1990's!
But before seeing the movie (which is now out on DVD in Australia) I did want to read the autobiography/memoir it is based on by English journalist, Lynn Barber.
My assumption is that the movie version focuses only on chapter two of the book where Barber re-tells the story of her affair/relationship/dalliance with a much older man when she is a 16 year old school girl in London. The book describes Barber's parents reactions to the relationship - surprisingly accepting - and her own doubts about the man who turns out to have one or two significant secrets. While I was initially disappointed to find that the book didn't focus on this period in Barber's life for longer - my reflective teenage self would have liked to hear more descriptions and tales from the weekend jaunts to Paris and Bruges - my disappointment was only short lived as I realised that this section of her life was only one interesting instance - many more followed in her life as an Oxford student and journalist.
I especially like the sections where Barber reflects on her work as a newspaper journalist where she discovered her passion for interviewing - a skill she clearly mastered if her several British Press Awards are anything to go by. My father is a journalist and I have always loved being a part of that world of newspaper production so this part of the book did bring back many fond memories for me.
This was an interesting and moving read for me - Barber is extremely open and honest in her writing and her reflections of her life - I really felt as though I was being let into her personal diaries - I only wished she had kept on writing.