I have a strange obsession with books written by doctors, so when I read about Mason, author of three novels and a practicing psychiatrist, in the Times Magazine, I just had to read The Winter Soldier, his latest. It’s about Lucius, a young medical student, the son of Viennese nobility, who at the outbreak of World War I is sent - entirely unprepared - to lead a field hospital at the front. There he meets and is trained by a nurse, Sister Margarete, with whom he falls in love. The two, in their shared exposure to the devastating effects of war on their patients, find a deep bond, but circumstances separate them, eventually launching Lucius on a mission to learn the truth about Margarete. Though there are a couple of scenes which depict the graphic brutality of war, The Winter Soldier is, at its core, a romantic mystery, and appropriate for fans of A Gentleman in Moscow.— Becky Dayton
By the international bestselling author of The Piano Tuner, a sweeping and unforgettable love story of a young doctor and nurse at a remote field hospital in the First World War.
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.