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If you’re looking for a compelling new audiobook to immerse yourself in, “The Age of Light” by Whitney Scharer may be the perfect choice. In this audiobook review, we’ll take a closer look at this captivating literary work and evaluate its plot, characters, narration, and overall listening experience.

Whitney Scharer’s novel has garnered critical acclaim and attention from readers. We’re excited to share our thoughts on this audiobook and offer insights into what makes it such a unique literary experience. From examining the historical context to analyzing the main characters, we aim to provide a comprehensive review of “The Age of Light.”

Keep reading to learn more about Whitney Scharer, the author, and why you should consider listening to “The Age of Light” as your next audiobook selection.

About the Author

Whitney Scharer is a writer and author from the United States. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her work has been published in numerous literary magazines. Scharer’s debut novel, “The Age of Light,” was published in 2019 and was met with critical acclaim.

Scharer’s writing style is characterized by vivid imagery, evocative language, and a poetic sensibility. She is known for her ability to paint complex characters and craft compelling narratives that explore themes of love, loss, and self-discovery.

In addition to “The Age of Light,” Scharer has also written several short stories and essays. Her work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Paris Review, and Granta.


Set in 1920s Paris, “The Age of Light” by Whitney Scharer follows the story of Lee Miller, a former fashion model turned photographer, who becomes the apprentice and lover of the surrealist artist, Man Ray. As Lee navigates the complexities of their relationship, she also struggles to find her own artistic voice and gain recognition in the male-dominated art world.

Throughout the novel, Lee faces challenges and ethical dilemmas that ultimately shape her character. She grapples with her own past trauma, the exploitation of women in the photography industry, and the intersection of art and politics during the rise of fascism in Europe.

The audiobook production does an excellent job of capturing the vivid descriptions of Paris’ bustling streets and the bohemian art scene of the 1920s, while also conveying the emotional depth of the characters and their complex relationships.

If you enjoy historical fiction with strong female protagonists, “The Age of Light” is a must-listen audiobook.

Character Analysis

Whitney Scharer’s “The Age of Light” features a diverse range of complex characters that drive the story’s narrative. Most notably, the story follows the life and struggles of Lee Miller, a former model and photojournalist, as she navigates her career and personal relationships.

Lee Miller is the central character in the story. The narrator of the story, she is simultaneously an artist, a mother, and a lover. With her unconventional beauty and fierce determination, Lee defies social conventions, carving her place in the male-dominated field of photography.

Man Ray is Lee’s mentor and lover. As a renowned American artist in Paris, he is often dismissive and controlling towards Lee, and yet she remains captivated by him. Their tumultuous affair drives much of the story’s conflict and adds a layer of complexity to their relationship.

Aziz Eloui Bey is an Egyptian businessman and Lee’s second lover. He is charming and supportive towards Lee, but ultimately their relationship is fraught with cultural and societal differences that prove insurmountable.

Beaumont Newhall is a photography historian and Lee’s friend. He provides emotional support and serves as a sounding board for Lee’s ideas and concerns throughout the story.

As the story progresses, each character undergoes significant personal growth and change. Through critical thinking and emotional analysis, readers can gain profound insights into the motivations, development, and relationships of the main characters in “The Age of Light,” creating a sense of empathy and understanding towards their experiences.

Character Analysis

Writing Style and Language

Whitney Scharer’s writing style in “The Age of Light” is lyrical and evocative, immersing the reader in the richly detailed world of 1930s Paris. Scharer has a talent for painting vivid images with words, using sensory details to bring her characters and settings to life.

Her prose is often introspective, delving deep into the thoughts and emotions of her characters to give the reader a genuine sense of their inner lives. This introspective style can sometimes slow the pacing of the narrative, but it also adds layers of complexity and depth to the story.

Scharer’s language is elegant and precise, with a focus on imagery and metaphor. Her descriptive techniques capture the subtleties of human behavior and the intricacies of relationships with breathtaking detail.

Overall, Scharer’s writing style and language contribute to the powerful emotional impact of “The Age of Light,” immersing the reader in the world and characters she has created.

Historical Context

To fully appreciate the world in which “The Age of Light” is set, it is crucial to understand the historical context of its time period. The story takes place in the 1930s, a time marked by the aftermath of World War I, the Great Depression, and the rise of fascism in Europe. In America, this era was characterized by a sense of disillusionment, social and economic upheaval, and changing societal norms.

During the 1930s, women’s roles in society were evolving rapidly. The suffragette movement had achieved its goal of women’s suffrage, and women were beginning to gain more independence and freedom. However, societal pressures still placed expectations on women to conform to traditional gender roles, and women faced significant discrimination in the workplace and society as a whole.

Artistically, the 1930s were a time of experimentation and discovery across multiple mediums. Photography, in particular, experienced a renaissance during this era, with photographers such as Man Ray, Edward Weston, and Imogen Cunningham pushing the boundaries of the medium and reinventing what was considered possible.

Against this backdrop of societal change and artistic experimentation, “The Age of Light” portrays the real-life love affair between the photographer Lee Miller and the artist Man Ray. The novel beautifully captures the spirit of the era and the struggles of the characters as they navigate their personal and creative lives in a world in flux.

Audiobook Narration

One of the key factors that can greatly influence the enjoyment of an audiobook is the narration. In the case of “The Age of Light,” the voice actor delivers a wonderful performance that complements the story perfectly. The voice actor’s voice is clear, expressive, and engaging, effectively bringing the characters and events to life for listeners.

Throughout the audiobook, the voice actor maintains a consistent pace and tone that enhances the listening experience. They effectively convey the emotions and motivations of the characters, allowing listeners to fully immerse themselves in the story.

Overall, the excellent audiobook narration of “The Age of Light” is a testament to the importance of finding the right voice actor for a literary work. It certainly enhances the overall listening experience and makes it a must-listen for fans of the genre.

audiobook narration

Pacing and Structure

As an audiobook experience, “The Age of Light” has a meticulously planned structure that mirrors the pacing of the plot. The book follows the journey of Lee Miller, a talented photographer who leaves behind a comfortable life in New York City to pursue her craft in Paris. The story is divided into three parts, each of which explores a different phase of Miller’s life and the relationships that shaped her artistic vision.

The pacing of the audiobook is deliberate, taking the time to establish the characters and their motivations before delving into the heart of the story. This allows the readers to envision Miller’s journey in a manner that reflects the spirit of the times. Each chapter is masterfully written to provide a distinct experience that contributes to the overarching plot.

The audiobook’s structure is also perfectly suited for Miller’s story. As a photographer, Miller’s keen eye for detail is captured in the vivid descriptions included in the book. The detailed descriptions of Paris’s streets, gardens, and art galleries are painted with a vivid palette, and the narration of Elizabeth Knowelden only adds to the audiobook’s immersive nature.

The combination of careful pacing and a well-structured narrative makes “The Age of Light” an audiobook experience of unparalleled quality. The book’s unique structure provides a perfect backdrop to Miller’s story and allows the listeners to fully immerse themselves in her journey.

Emotional Impact

Listening to “The Age of Light” as an audiobook is a rollercoaster of emotions. Whitney Scharer’s vivid characterizations and beautiful prose bring the story to life, allowing listeners to experience the full emotional spectrum of the character’s journeys.

The audiobook evokes a range of emotions, from moments of pure joy to gut-wrenching sadness and tension. The relationship between Lee and Man Ray is at the heart of the story, and their tumultuous love affair expertly unfolds through the audiobook narration, making listeners feel deeply invested in their fate.

The haunting ending is particularly emotional, leaving a lasting impression on listeners. Overall, “The Age of Light” is a must-listen for anyone looking for an audiobook experience that will make them laugh, cry, and everything in between.

Themes and Messages

The narrative of “The Age of Light” explores various themes and messages that resonate with contemporary society. At its core, this audiobook is a profound exploration of the journey of self-discovery, love, and artistic expression.

One of the central themes of the story is the struggle of women to find their place in society, as restricted by gender biases and societal norms. Scharer sensitively portrays Lee’s conflict between trying to fit into a man’s world and being unapologetically herself.

Another significant theme is that of the cost of creative pursuit, and the choices one must make between their art and personal life. The audiobook illustrates how an artist’s work is often a reflection of their own struggles, and the line between art and self can blur.

The exploration of sexuality and power dynamics in romantic relationships is also a prominent theme in “The Age of Light”. The vulnerability and complexity of Lee and Man Ray’s relationship bring to light larger issues of gender inequality and the abuse of power.

Ultimately, “The Age of Light” is a testament to the transforming power of love, art, and self-discovery, and is a worthwhile listen for anyone interested in exploring the human experience.

Critical Reception

Since its release, “The Age of Light” has garnered significant critical attention and numerous reviews from readers. Critics have praised Whitney Scharer’s debut novel for its vivid writing style and intricate exploration of the life of Lee Miller, an iconic photographer and model from the 1920s.

According to The New York Times review by Fiona Davis, “Scharer delivers a beautifully researched and richly evocative portrait of an artist turned muse turned artist again.” Meanwhile, The Washington Post‘s review by Ron Charles expresses enthusiasm about the audiobook’s pacing, stating that “the production briskly captures the tumultuous, romantic life of a woman who refused to adhere to any model of femininity.”

Overall, the critical reception of “The Age of Light” has been overwhelmingly positive, with reviewers commending Scharer’s skillful storytelling and vivid imagery.

Recommendation and Final Thoughts

Overall, we highly recommend “The Age of Light” by Whitney Scharer as an audiobook. The captivating story, deep character analysis, and beautifully crafted language make it an excellent addition to any listener’s collection.

The historical context adds depth to the story and offers insights into the societal norms of the time. The audiobook narration is also superb, enhancing the overall listening experience.

However, the pacing and structure can be slow at times, which may not appeal to listeners who are used to fast-paced narratives. Despite this, we believe that the emotional impact of the story is worth taking the time to fully immerse oneself into the world of “The Age of Light.”

Our final thoughts on “The Age of Light” as an audiobook are that it is a well-written and expertly narrated work that will leave listeners feeling both satisfied and emotionally moved.

We urge all audiobook enthusiasts to give “The Age of Light” a chance and experience this beautiful literary work for themselves.


In conclusion, we hope that our audiobook review of “The Age of Light” by Whitney Scharer has provided valuable insights into this captivating literary work. We have evaluated various aspects of the audiobook, including the author’s background, the synopsis, character analysis, writing style, historical context, audiobook narration, pacing, emotional impact, themes, and critical reception.

Our analysis has highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the audiobook, and we have given our recommendation based on our assessment. However, ultimately the decision to listen to the audiobook is a personal one, and we encourage readers to explore this work for themselves.

Overall, “The Age of Light” is a well-crafted and thought-provoking audiobook that offers a poignant reflection on the complexities of human relationships and the pursuit of creative fulfillment. We believe that it is a worthwhile addition to any audiobook collection and recommend it to anyone looking for an immersive and emotionally resonant listening experience.


What is “The Age of Light” by Whitney Scharer about?

“The Age of Light” is a captivating literary work that follows the life of famous photographer Lee Miller during the 1930s. It explores her journey as she navigates the art world, relationships, and her own inner struggles.

Who is Whitney Scharer?

Whitney Scharer is a talented author known for her work on “The Age of Light.” She has a unique writing style that brings characters and stories to life, and her contributions to the literary world make her a noteworthy figure in contemporary literature.

What can I expect from the plot of “The Age of Light”?

The plot of “The Age of Light” revolves around Lee Miller’s transformation from a model to a renowned photographer. It showcases her ups and downs, her exploration of love and art, and her quest for personal and professional fulfillment.

Who are the main characters in “The Age of Light”?

The main characters in “The Age of Light” include Lee Miller, the protagonist and aspiring photographer, and Man Ray, a prominent artist and Lee’s lover. Other significant characters like Jean Cocteau and Elizabeth Eyre also play significant roles in shaping the narrative.

How is Whitney Scharer’s writing style and language in “The Age of Light”?

Whitney Scharer’s writing style in “The Age of Light” is evocative and rich in detail. Her language brings the settings, emotions, and characters to life, painting vivid pictures in the reader’s mind and enhancing the overall reading experience.

Is “The Age of Light” historically accurate?

Yes, “The Age of Light” is meticulously researched and provides readers with a historically accurate depiction of the 1930s. It offers insights into the art world, the social and cultural climate of the time, and the real-life personalities that influenced the era.

How does the audiobook narration enhance “The Age of Light”?

The audiobook narration of “The Age of Light” is expertly performed, bringing the characters to life and immersing listeners into the story. The voice actor’s talent and interpretation enhance the emotional impact, making the listening experience even more engaging.

How does the pacing and structure contribute to the audiobook experience of “The Age of Light”?

The pacing and structure of “The Age of Light” as an audiobook are carefully crafted, ensuring a well-paced and engaging narrative flow. The chapter organization further enhances the listening experience, allowing listeners to follow the story seamlessly.

What emotional impact can I expect from “The Age of Light” as an audiobook?

“The Age of Light” as an audiobook evokes a wide range of emotions, including joy, sadness, tension, and awe. The immersive narration and compelling storytelling combine to create a powerful emotional journey for listeners.

What are the themes and messages explored in “The Age of Light”?

“The Age of Light” explores themes of love, passion, identity, and sacrifice. It delves into the complexities of art, the pursuit of one’s dreams, and the struggle to maintain personal authenticity in the face of societal expectations.

How has “The Age of Light” been received by critics and readers?

“The Age of Light” has received critical acclaim, with reviewers praising its immersive storytelling, historical accuracy, and beautifully written prose. Readers have also embraced the book, finding it thought-provoking, emotionally resonant, and captivating.

Would you recommend “The Age of Light” as an audiobook?

Based on our analysis, we highly recommend “The Age of Light” as an audiobook. The combination of Whitney Scharer’s captivating storytelling and the exceptional narration makes it a truly immersive and memorable listening experience.

Any final thoughts on “The Age of Light” as an audiobook?

In summary, “The Age of Light” is a must-read for fans of historical fiction and those who appreciate well-crafted narratives. Whitney Scharer’s exquisite writing, combined with a compelling audiobook production, makes this an excellent choice for both literary enthusiasts and audiobook lovers.

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