September 2018 Indie Next List
“The depth and complexity of Daniel Mason’s new three-dimensional tapestry of war and its consequences make for a remarkable read. There are the basic wartime themes of love, horror, and loss—of limbs and lives, of innocence and empire. A whole world just vanishes in bombs, guns, and smoke, and the reader is left clutching at hints, but the richness of the story makes it uplifting rather than melancholy. Everything is below the surface; you sink down, discover something new at every turn, and come away refreshed. How does that happen with a war story? Don’t ask—just read.”
— Grace Bogart, Copperfield's Books Petaluma, Petaluma, CA
"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 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.
"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, bestselling author of Cutting for Stone
"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, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All the Light We Cannot See
"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 the First World War as I have never felt it."—Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Less
"With a physician's precision and an artist's eye, author Daniel Mason captures the emotional and physical upheaval wrought by war. Right from the start, the novel thrums with tension, whisking the reader into the fray...With striking prose and an unencumbered pace, The Winter Soldier
makes for a uniquely compelling read."—
Melissa Brown, Bookpage
"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
"In the tradition of Cold Mountain
and Doctor Zhivago,
Daniel Mason's new novel is a gloriously gripping story of love, war, and the marvel of human endurance. Sweeping yet intimate, brutal yet tender, it kept me up, it broke my heart, and it made me remember yet again just how a good book--a really
good book--rekindles our love of life."—Julia Glass, National Book Award-winning author of Three Junes and A House Among the Trees
"In The Winter Soldier
, Daniel 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."—Georgia Hunter, bestselling author of We Were the Lucky Ones
"Moving...Mason's old-fashioned novel delivers a sweeping yet intimate account of WWI, and in Lucius, the author has created an outstanding protagonist."—Publishers Weekly
"The Winter Soldier
brings to vivid life the World War I story of a medical student who is taught battlefield surgery by a young nun with a mysterious past. Enthralled by the setting, the characters, and the language, I was held captive by this remarkable historical novel."—Mark Sullivan, bestselling author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky
"Mason's lyrical and affecting novel about the costs of war and lost love will satisfy readers of quality fiction."—David Keymer, Library Journal
"A novel of love, war, and medicine set during the grim final two years of World War I...Mason's contribution to war literature involves almost no depiction of fighting but rather its aftermath, the tragically scarred soldiers, and the almost equally traumatized caregivers who sacrifice their health in providing medical help to the wounded."—Kirkus Reviews