Reviews

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.

Kirkus

starred review

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

Booklist

starred review

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

New York Times bestselling author of THE SUMMER BEFORE THE WAR and MAJOR PETTIGREW'S LAST STAND

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

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

New York Times bestselling author of LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE and EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU

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