“Part mystery, part war story, part romance, The Winter Soldier is a dream of a novel — impeccably researched and totally immersive. The unsinkable Margarete is a mesmerizing character, and the book’s investigation into the psychiatric toll of war on its combatants could not be more timely. This novel convinces you with every sentence.”
―Anthony Doerr, author of New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See.
The Winter Soldier is a properly gritty World War One story. It lays bare the stark realities of brutal and underprepared military actions. Life was cheap. It’s no wonder the survivor’s scars are more than just physical.
Certainly disturbing at times but overall a compelling read. Mason does not hold back on the brutalities and ravages of war. And the vivid descriptions of war time hospital conditions will make you itch with imaginary lice.
A story of hubris, guilt, compassion and atonement, The Winter Soldier is a well written novel with a satisfying ending.
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.
Book #23 in 2019
The Winter Soldier
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
GENRE: Historical Fiction
For more book suggestions check out my 2019 Reading List