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The Age of Light: A Novel Hardcover – February 5, 2019

4.1 out of 5 stars 182 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of February 2019: Lee Miller was already an accomplished model when she made her way to Paris in the 1930s, but her aim was to be behind the camera. A chance meeting with famed Surrealist photographer Man Ray set this plan in motion, and revealed that Miller’s artistic ability--and her ambition—rivaled that of her mentor (and eventual lover). Whitney Scharer’s sumptuous debut novel, The Age of Light, captures their passionate, and complicated, relationship, and pays homage to the pluck, determination and profound talents of a woman sometimes relegated to a footnote in Man Ray’s history. Both his and Scharer’s muse shines here. --Erin Kodicek, Amazon Book Review

Review

"Scharer's debut is a rivetingly sexy snapshot of the duo's real-life relationship as it morphs from apprenticeship to partnership to tumultuous love affair."
Kim Hubbard, People

"The glittering bohemia of 1930s Paris, the pastoral boredom of mid-'60s Sussex, the hollowed-out carnage of postwar Europe; all come equally alive on the page, as do iconic figures like Ray and Cocteau and Kiki de Montparnasse. But none breathe more vividly than Miller herself: Fiercely independent but racked by self-doubt, desperate for affection and approval even as she chafed at sentiment, she spent decades fighting to find her voice. It was worth the wait."

Entertainment Weekly

"Like Paris in the 1930s, Sharer's first novel is a radiant clash of romance and reality"
O, the Oprah Magazine

"She joins such novelists as Paula McLain ("The Paris Wife") and Rupert Thomson ("Never Anyone but You") in a most worthy enterprise: repopulating male-dominated accounts of the past with the many noteworthy women who deserve the same limelight."
Donna Rikfind, Washington Post

"Scharer...skillfully renders an electric version of the city, pulling the reader into the opulence and mystery of the era."
Annabel Gutterman, Time

"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. Want to know what it's like to be an artist? Read this astonishing novel and then, like Lee Miller, take time to consider the extraordinary cost she paid to be herself."―Caroline Leavitt, Boston Globe

"Is "woman behaves dangerously, lives wildly" a genre? If so, The Age of Light is its latest poster child. The novel is work of historical fiction about Lee Miller, a Vogue model who became one of the first female war correspondents. In Scharer's plot, Miller travels to Paris where she meets photographer Man Ray, who becomes her collaborator and lover. While most stories about Miller paint her as Ray's muse, this one portrays her as the independent and daring artist she truly was."
Glamour

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

"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

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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
182 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2019
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Top international reviews

ericmitford
5.0 out of 5 stars Miller and Ray - grand passion in bohemian Paris
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 12, 2019
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Peaks and Dales
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging account
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 8, 2019
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sam
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 20, 2019
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Mrs.June A Gould
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 16, 2019
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S. Frances
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant first novel based on the amazing Lee Miller.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 3, 2020
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