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Winner of the AudioFile Earphone Award
From the best-selling author of The Piano Tuner comes Daniel Mason's The Winter Soldier, a story of love and medicine through the devastation of the First World War.
Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a 22-year-old medical student when World War One explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organised 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.
"Part mystery, part war story, part romance, The Winter Soldier is a dream of a novel." (Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See)
"Set in the Carpathians, in a makeshift hospital on the Austro-Russian front in WWI, Mason’s epic romance is impressively informed on the geopolitics and the medical and military practices of the time. Laurence Dobiesz’s narration brings precision, dexterity, and conviction to a storyline built on meticulous detailing. He’s clearly at home in several European languages, capable of suggesting with a shift in volume or tone a voice, a character, a state of mind." (AudioFile)
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Soporific reading of an unusual war story
Was recommended this, and wanted to like it more, but the ponderous narration drained the life from it. I am interested in the places where the book is set, where borders have changed many times since the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The book is well written, getting a good balance between the social and emotional stresses of people tending to the wounds of soldiers just behind the lines. But such a dreary reading of the book made it hard to maintain concentration. A great shame.
1 person found this helpful
- Jon Lymposs
So much potential
A very powerful picture of that part of ww1 little know ( in this country anyway) fought by the Austrian Empire .Great descriptions
Of life in a field hospital and a love story between a doctor and a mysterious nun (very angry that we never learn anything about her
Background ) . Book ruined for me because of the ending
So much misery ..a happy ending would have been nice