Saturday 11 November 2023

Book Review: The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer

 The Age of Light


Whitney Scharer

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Imprint: Picador
Publication date: 12th February 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 375
RRP: 29.99AU (trade paperback)
Source: Courtesy of the publisher

Review: The Age of Light

The Age of Light is a fictional rendition of the life of artist Lee Miller, concentrating on the years she spent with Ray Man. After extensive research and finding little is taught about Lee Miller in art history courses Whitney Scharer has written a darkly intoxicating story about the woman behind the man.

The main timeline of the book is the late 1920's and set in a bohemian Paris. Lee has left New York and modelling behind and wants to pursue a career in photography. When Lee meets Man ray they embark upon a passionate affair. Man Keeps Lee close but she doesn't mind as they are working together and experimenting with photographic techniques. As Lee builds her own confidence in her work, Man's jealousy and real personality show.

Lee and Man's affair is totally consuming but it is this affair that suddenly makes Lee realise that it's not her controlling men with her beauty, The men in her life have always controlled her.

There are chapters on Lee's life as a journalist during the war. However these are very short and only give flashing scenes of the horrors that damaged her and caused her withdrawal from society. There are also flashbacks to Lee's childhood showing the trauma that shaped her personality.

I liked Lee and could understand it was her upbringing that made her so aloof. Scharer doesn't play on the bouts of depression that obviously plagued Lee's life instead giving her readers a story of growth and survival in a male dominated world.

The Age of Light was an engrossing read. I read it in a day! It would not only appeal to readers interested in the Arts but anyone who enjoys a good story of betrayal.

My rating 4 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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