Book Review for THE AGE OF LIGHT by Whitney Scharer

I have had this one on my book shelves for a while and am so glad I finally got round to reading it!  A thoroughly enjoyable read.  Quite slow paced but completely absorbing.


book clipartBOOK SYNOPSISbook clipart


Model. Muse. Lover. Artist.

‘I’d rather take a picture than be one,’ Lee Miller declares, as she arrives in Paris one cool day in 1929. Lee has left behind her life in New York and a successful modelling career at Vogue to pursue her dream of becoming a photographer. She soon catches the eye of renowned Surrealist artist Man Ray and convinces him to hire her as his assistant. Man is an egotistical, charismatic force, and as Lee becomes both his muse and his protégé, they embark upon a passionate affair.

Lee and Man spend their days working closely in the studio and their nights at smoky cabarets, opium dens and wild parties. But as Lee begins to assert herself, and to create pioneering work of her own, Man’s jealousy spirals out of control, and leads to a betrayal that threatens to destroy them both . . .

Transporting us from bohemian Paris to the battlefields of WWII, The Age of Light is a powerful and intoxicating story about love, obsession and the personal price of ambition. Based on the incredible true story, in her debut novel Whitney Scharer brings a brilliant and revolutionary artist out of the shadow of a man’s legacy, and into the light.


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I really like a book that merges fact with fiction and The Age Of Light is a great example of this.

A great look into the life of Lee Miller, model & photographer.

I knew nothing about Lee Miller before picking up this book, but if you have any interest in the art world it is sure to please. I found it a great way to learn about her life but also at the same time having a great piece of historical fiction to lose myself in.

Scharer has blended together factual research within a fictional story, that in the main part is true to life but made utterly engaging by her smaller, day to day re telling.  This fictionalised biography mainly covers the time when she worked and lived with Man Ray in Paris, and wonderfully evokes the period and their lifestyle.  Parties, clubs, friends and like a good photograph itself captures the allure of Paris and it’s cafe, bars and small streets where delicious food and drink can be found.

It also gives us a brief insight into her time as a war correspondent for Vogue and forms a timeline of how she went from model to photographer to vogue columnist.

Millers and Ray’s passion and jealousy make an absorbing read and I couldn’t wait to read on, knowing as you do from the start, that their relationship finally comes to an end. Miller is clearly a complex person as you also learn of her childhood and events that are difficult to read but clearly shaped the person she becomes, along with her time in the war.

If you like to read books based in the 1920/30’s, or Paris and enjoy complex characters that struggle but are still very likeable then you should give this a go.  I highly recommend it.

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