27 Jul 2010

An Education - What Lynn Learnt

"An Education" is a short little book with a lot to tell. It is the memoirs of British journalist Lynn Barber and it was recently made into an acclaimed film by Danish director Lone Scherfig.

Barber tells about growing up in the suburbs of London with parents that did not make life easier for her - and it cannot have been easy for said parents to read their daughter's description of a dull childhood in Twickenham. Maybe it is boredom or the search for adventure that lead the 16-year old Lynn to fall for a much older man. A man to introduces her to the wrong sort of people, takes her away for weekends and all with her parents acceptance. They even urge her to say yes when he proposes. She doesn't, however, instead she goes to university at Oxford determined to learn more about men and this stand her in good stead when she goes on to work for Penthouse in the magazine's early days. This jobs leads to many more job in journalism and Barber describes the world of writing well, however, the really impressive part of the book is her description of her husband's fatal ilness. I was unable to stop reading and almost cried at her honest description of tragedy.

Personally I would like more detail - especially in chapter 2 where she describes her relationship with the con-man. Maybe some more reflection as well - especially on her relatioship with her parents as this is describes as complicated but she never tries to see the situation from their point of view or tie this in with the way she handles parenting. The chapters about losing the love of her life, however, are so emotional and wonderfully written that I will read them again some day. It almost hurt to read about her pain, yet it is so beautiful in is loving descriptions that it is impossible not to be impressed by it.


  1. I loved the movie, and I'm curious about the book to find out what her life was like after Oxford!

  2. I absolutely recommend it, it is a great little book.