The winter soldier

Daniel Mason

Book - 2018

"Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War I explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives--at a commandeered church tucked away high in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains--he discovers a freezing outpost ravaged by typhus. The other doctors have fled, and only a single mysterious nurse named Sister Margarete remains. But Lucius ...has never lifted a surgeon's scalpel. And as the war rages across the winter landscape, he finds himself falling in love with the woman from whom he must learn a brutal makeshift medicine. Then one day, an unconscious soldier is brought in from the snow, his uniform stuffed with strange drawings. He seems beyond rescue, until Lucius makes a fateful decision that will change the lives of doctor, patient, and nurse forever"--Provided by publisher.

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Subjects
Genres
War fiction
Romance fiction
Published
New York : Little, Brown and Company 2018.sa
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
Maps on endpapers.
"A novel"--Jacket.
Physical Description
323 pages : illustration ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780316477604
0316477605
Main Author
Daniel Mason (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Their love was impossible in more ways than one. A medical student from Vienna sent to a makeshift hospital during WWI is instantly amazed by the no-nonsense nun who had been nursing injured soldiers with little help for months. Lucius' medical-school training—attending lectures and reading books—did almost nothing to prepare him for the horrors of tending to shell-shocked soldiers, not to mention the plague of lice and rats all around; but as Sister Margarete gently guides him, their relationship slowly grows into something deeper. Beyond the constant threat of the ever-shifting front and Margarete's own vows, however, the arrival of one patient who seems almost beyond rescue will test them severely. A sweeping story of love found and lost, steeped in medical details that reveal the full horrors that ill-equipped doctors and nurses faced over years of vicious trench warfare, The Winter Soldier is a vivid account of one man caught up in the epic forces of war, who desperately fights against the tides of change in search of redemption. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Mason, who made a name for himself with the international best seller The Piano Tuner while still a medical student, returns with a story featuring a medical student—22-year-old Austrian Lucias, who, during World War I, enlists to work at a field hospital. He's the only doctor at his post, in the far-off, frigid Carpathian Mountains, and he's never even picked up a scalpel. His decision regarding one unconscious patient changes everything. Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

When war breaks out in 1914, Lucius, a promising medical student, enlists in the Imperial Austrian Army and ends up stranded in a typhus-ridden outpost in the Carpathian Mountains. The other doctors have fled. There is only a nurse, Sister Margarete, who becomes his aide and teacher as he learns medicine in the act of practicing it. A soldier is brought in with no visible wounds: he won't eat or talk. Lucius and Margarete nurse him back to fragile health. Then the Hussars arrive, and their officer sees only a malingerer, a soldier with no visible wounds. The officer's brutal treatment of the patient undoes all the good that has been done: a man who was damaged only on the inside is left damaged on the outside, too. The soldier is taken away and Lucius is consumed with guilt for failing to intervene. Margarete and Lucius fall in love, but she, too, disappears. The rest of the novel is about Lucius's three-year hunt to find her. VERDICT Mason's (psychiatry, Stanford; A Far Country) lyrical and affecting novel about the costs of war and lost love will satisfy readers of quality fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 3/12/18.]—David Keymer, Cleveland Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In Mason's moving historical novel (after The Piano Tuner), Lucius Krzelewski is a 22-year-old, upper-class medical student in 1914 Vienna who, after Austria enters World War I, volunteers for duty. Despite his lack of practical experience, he is sent to a field hospital in the Carpathian Mountains, where he is expected to perform emergency surgeries. Fortunately, he is guided by Sister Margarete, a nurse with a mysterious background who teaches him the surgical skills he lacks. They go on to become lovers. One day, they are given a new patient, a shell-shocked soldier who can only communicate by drawing pictures. Lucius becomes obsessed with finding a cure for this patient, who is dubbed the winter soldier. Then, Margarete disappears and Lucius gets lost looking for her. He is transferred to another medical unit, then is returned home to Vienna. But despite an arranged marriage, Lucius can't go on with his life until he finds out what happened to Margarete and the winter soldier. Mason's old-fashioned novel delivers a sweeping yet intimate account of WWI, and in Lucius, the author has created an outstanding protagonist. Reminiscent of Thomas Keneally's Season in Purgatory, this novel is a fine addition to fictional testaments of doctors and nurses during wartime. (Sept.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A young doctor and nurse fall in love while navigating the brutal realities of World War I at an underequipped and understaffed field hospital in the Carpathian Mountains.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A young doctor and nurse fall in love while navigating the brutal realities of World War I at an underequipped and understaffed field hospital in the Carpathian Mountains. By the best-selling author of The Piano Tuner. 50,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War I explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives--at a commandeered church tucked away high in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains--he discovers a freezing outpost ravaged by typhus. The other doctors have fled, and only a single mysterious nurse named Sister Margarete remains. But Lucius has never lifted a surgeon's scalpel. And as the war rages across the winter landscape, he finds himself falling in love with the woman from whom he must learn a brutal makeshift medicine. Then one day, an unconscious soldier is brought in from the snow, his uniform stuffed with strange drawings. He seems beyond rescue, until Lucius makes a fateful decision that will change the lives of doctor, patient, and nurse forever"--Provided by publisher.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

The epic story of war and medicine from the award-winning author of The Piano Tuner is "a dream of a novel...part mystery, part war story, part romance" (Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See). Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War I explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives, at a commandeered church tucked away high in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains, he finds a freezing outpost ravaged by typhus. The other doctors have fled, and only a single, mysterious nurse named Sister Margarete remains.But Lucius has never lifted a surgeon's scalpel. And as the war rages across the winter landscape, he finds himself falling in love with the woman from whom he must learn a brutal, makeshift medicine. Then one day, an unconscious soldier is brought in from the snow, his uniform stuffed with strange drawings. He seems beyond rescue, until Lucius makes a fateful decision that will change the lives of doctor, patient, and nurse forever.From the gilded ballrooms of Imperial Vienna to the frozen forests of the Eastern Front; from hardscrabble operating rooms to battlefields thundering with Cossack cavalry, The Winter Soldier is the story of war and medicine, of family, of finding love in the sweeping tides of history, and finally, of the mistakes we make, and the precious opportunities to atone."The Winter Soldier brims with improbable narrative pleasures...These pages crackle with excitement... A spectacular success." 'Anthony Marra, New York Times Book Review

Review by Publisher Summary 5

The epic story of war and medicine from the award-winning author of The Piano Tuner is "a dream of a novel...part mystery, part war story, part romance" (Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See). Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War I explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives, at a commandeered church tucked away high in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains, he finds a freezing outpost ravaged by typhus. The other doctors have fled, and only a single, mysterious nurse named Sister Margarete remains.But Lucius has never lifted a surgeon's scalpel. And as the war rages across the winter landscape, he finds himself falling in love with the woman from whom he must learn a brutal, makeshift medicine. Then one day, an unconscious soldier is brought in from the snow, his uniform stuffed with strange drawings. He seems beyond rescue, until Lucius makes a fateful decision that will change the lives of doctor, patient, and nurse forever.From the gilded ballrooms of Imperial Vienna to the frozen forests of the Eastern Front; from hardscrabble operating rooms to battlefields thundering with Cossack cavalry, The Winter Soldier is the story of war and medicine, of family, of finding love in the sweeping tides of history, and finally, of the mistakes we make, and the precious opportunities to atone."The Winter Soldier brims with improbable narrative pleasures...These pages crackle with excitement... A spectacular success." —Anthony Marra, New York Times Book Review