It’s 1943, and World War II is raging between the Allied and Axis powers. But far away in the booming city of Detroit, there’s another war occurring. Eighteen-year-old Bea Paradiso is at war, both with herself and with her family, which seems to be falling apart. Bea is romantic, overly sensitive, intelligent and artistic. Her emotions are in a shambles, and the war offers a solution. Bea is “volunteered” to draw portraits for wounded soldiers at a local hospital for military casualties, and her encounters with the veterans are transformative; her work leads her to what she calls “the Land of Colors without Objects,” and the shy Bea becomes the vivacious Bianca. Art becomes more than aesthetic pleasure; it is a way of life. Dramatic, thought-provoking and captivating, Brad Leithauser’s novel reveals the world within that becomes The Art Student’s War.