The Winter Soldier

The Winter Soldier

4.08 (757 ratings by Goodreads)
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From the bestselling 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 twenty-two-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-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.

'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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 163 x 241 x 35mm | 591g
  • Mantle
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0330458329
  • 9780330458320
  • 1,975

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Review quote

A powerful tale of a medical student in the First World War * Sunday Times Culture * A captivating read . . . it's so well researched and meticulously evoked that one can almost smell the chemicals
in the lab and visualise the paintings in Lucius's parents' upmarket home . . . Mason has honed his craft over two previous novels, The Piano Tuner and A Far Country, and The Winter Soldier is beautifully, elegantly written, the prose pitched at a level where it feels rich and lustrous but at the same time transparent and devoid of pomposity. Constantly carrying the reader forward, it's a novel to get lost in. * Herald * In The Winter Soldier, Mason achieves a deeply affecting balancing act, drawing us into the crushing agony of war while simultaneously stirring our hearts with an inspired and touching love story.
Despite the horrifying backdrop of war, The Winter Soldier is ultimately a touching, intensely human story of longing and love -- Georgia Hunter, author of We Were The Lucky Ones So real, so rich and detailed, that the room in which I was reading vanished. I was transported to a lost world of the past. Suspenseful, thrilling, aching with emotion. Living with Lucius and Margarete, it was First World War as I have never felt it. -- Andrew Sean Greer, author of Less and The Story of a Marriage I have been a Daniel Mason fan since The Piano Tuner. His abilities as a storyteller and a writer of the most gorgeous prose leave you wanting more. The Winter Soldier is a tour-de-force. I was immersed in the grandeur of Imperial Vienna and the frozen battlefields of the Eastern Front, and in this beautiful tale of love and war, and of our frailty and resilience in the face of both -- Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone Daniel Mason is a fine writer . . . In Mason's powerful tale of individuals caught up in world-changing events, Lucius's search for his lost love also becomes a journey towards some kind of redemption * Sunday Times * The Winter Soldier held me by the throat from the first lyrical page to the last. A story which manages to be as original as it is timeless, and above all, credible -- Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room and The Wonder Utterly convincing and written with a lyricism that belies the horrors it so unflinchingly describes, this is both a moving love story and a profound portrayal of war's physical and psychological effects on survivors * Daily Mail * Daniel Mason, a 42-year-old practicing psychiatrist, has quietly emerged as one of the finest prose stylists in American fiction * New York Times * 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 All the Light We Cannot See
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About Daniel Mason

Daniel Mason is a physician and author of the novels The Piano Tuner and A Far Country. His work has been translated into twenty-eight languages, and adapted for opera and theatre. A recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, he is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, where he teaches courses in the humanities and medicine. He lives in the Bay Area with his family. The Winter Soldier is his third novel.
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Rating details

757 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 36% (276)
4 41% (314)
3 17% (131)
2 3% (25)
1 1% (11)
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