Why this book?
Daniel Mason’s The Winter Soldier is superb. I love its wonderfully drawn characters and visual details, its sense of medical authenticity, its depiction of the convolutions of history—in this case, the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s side of things in WWI. It’s all held within a heart-wrenching narrative about a Viennese medical student assigned to a distant field hospital in the Carpathian Mountains. What he finds is a village church turned into a makeshift hospital with a single nurse in charge. The author, a physician, creates so well the terror of a medical student facing, for the first time, what his textbooks couldn’t convey—the awful effects of war upon the human body and mind. Nor could those textbooks show what love and atonement feel like. The Winter Soldier does.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
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…