Part of the heady pleasure of Scharer’s novel is the writing, which is as seductive and beautiful as her descriptions of the shimmery satin kimonos in the opium den… An absolutely gorgeous and feminist novel about art, love, and ownership, “The Age of Light’’ is truly a work of art in itself, both deeply moving and thrilling.

Caroline Leavitt

The Boston Globe

A remarkable life that author Whitney Scharer aims to rescue from the margins of history in her artful debut…clean, consistently evocative prose… It was worth the wait.

Leah Greenblatt

Entertainment Weekly

Can The Age of Light really be Whitney Scharer’s first novel? It has the sort of elan and confidence that comes with the ease of knowing who you are as an artist. And here she is writing about what it means to be an artist beyond and above everything – family, love, children, personal safety…. [Lee] Miller would approve of what Scharer has done. It is both deft and engrossing and says new things about an unexpected story. Call it art.

Helen Elliott

Sydney Morning Herald

Mesmerizing, wickedly sexy and full of girl power, THE AGE OF LIGHT is historical fiction for the modern reader. This unflinching portrait of one of the most iconic and yet often underlooked female artists will fill in many of the blanks in your knowledge of art history, while simultaneously reminding you to celebrate women’s contributions to the industry. Whether you have a Lee Miller print hanging in your home right now or have only ever heard of Man Ray, THE AGE OF LIGHT will immediately pull you in.

Rebecca Munro

Scharer’s stellar debut chronicles the tumultuous working and romantic relationships of photographer Man Ray and model-turned-photographer Lee Miller in early 1930s Paris…Scharer’s brilliant portrayal of the complicated couple features a page-turning story and thrillingly depicts the artistic process.

Publishers Weekly

starred review

Scharer sets her viewfinder selectively, focusing on her heroine’s insecurities as much as her accomplishments as an artist; her hunger to be more than “a neck to hold pearls, a slim waist to show off a belt” is contrasted with her habit of solving problems by simply leaving. The price for Lee is steep, but it makes for irresistible reading. Sexy and moving.


starred review

Scharer’s intoxicating first novel… bring[s] a stunning chiaroscuro effect to the saga of a woman transforming herself into an artist.


starred review

“Scharer’s debut is both engrossing and cinematic, a must for readers who enjoy a fictional peek into the lives of real-life artists.”

Library Journal

When I first read The Age of Light, I thought it might have been written expressly for me, since it has everything I love in it: photography, sex, love, war, 1930s Paris, a relationship struggle between two artists, a woman’s journey from model to photographer, and the most exquisite writing. Then I realized: this magnetic, addictive novel will beguile every reader. Read it, read it!

Jenna Blum

New York Times bestselling author of THOSE WHO SAVE US and THE LOST FAMILY

An extraordinary young woman discovers love and art and betrayal among the artists of 1930s Paris and documents the horrors of war through her singular camera lens. An uplifting, heartbreaking, and altogether immersive read.

Helen Simonson


Rivetingly sexy…Think F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda with cameras instead of pens: who’s the talent and who’s the muse?


Rapturous and razor sharp all at once, The Age of Light fearlessly unzips anything we might know of Lee Miller as model and muse and recasts her as artist, free thinker and architect of a singular and unapologetic life. Whitney Scharer is a stunning new discovery. This novel sparks on every page.

Paula McLain

New York Times bestselling author of THE PARIS WIFE and LOVE AND RUIN

“Scharer…skillfully renders an electric version of [Paris], pulling the reader into the opulence and mystery of the era.”

Time Magazine

Jan 28th, 2019

…salute Scharer for emphasizing the romantic aspects of her historical romance,wading into the sexual politics of the era & thus exposing our own…repopulating male-dominated accounts of the past w/ the many noteworthy women who deserve the same limelight

Donna Rifkind

Washington Post

In incandescent prose, Whitney Scharer has created an unforgettable heroine discovering her passion, her independence, and her art—and what she must sacrifice to have them. Sweeping from the glamour of 1930s Paris through the battlefields of World War II and into the war’s long shadow, The Age of Light is a startlingly modern love story and a mesmerizing portrait of a woman’s self-transformation from muse to artist.

Celeste Ng


Meet Lee Miller, your new heroine – and the subject of Whitney Scharer’s absolutely engrossing debut novel…Scharer’s book captures the bravery it required for a woman to become her full, independent self in that era.

Elena Nicolau


Whitney Scharer’s storytelling is utterly immersive and gorgeous in its details, transporting you into Lee Miller’s life and her struggles to be taken seriously in a man’s world. This is a powerful, sensual, and gripping portrait of the forging of an artist’s soul.

Madeline Miller

New York Times bestselling author of CIRCE and THE SONG OF ACHILLES

A masterpiece, The Age of Light is a searing, evocative novel of love and war, and a woman’s fierce determination to transcend her role as muse and remake the world through her own art. Whitney Scharer is a remarkably gifted storyteller—a major new voice in historical fiction.

Dawn Tripp

Bestselling author of GEORGIA and GAME OF SECRETS

The Age of Light is a bold, intimate, and gorgeous novel—at once a vivid romp through the salons and parties of the Paris art world in the 1930s and a breathtaking close-up of a woman battling to be both muse and artist, lover and collaborator, and, above all, herself. This is a relevant, utterly enthralling debut from a talented writer who understands the complex intersection of ambition and femininity. I was swept off my feet.

Jessica Shattuck

New York Times bestselling author of THE WOMEN IN THE CASTLE and THE HAZARDS OF GOOD BREEDING