Mason, an author and a physician, has written a powerful novel about WWI. Lucius Krzelewski is a young Viennese medical student enlists in the Austrian army in 1914. Having never operated, he is alarmed when he is assigned to a hospital that has been set up in a church deep in the Carpathian Mountains in Hungary. He is astonished and frightened when he realizes he is the only one on the premises who has had any medical training. Fortunately, a nun named Margarete quickly teaches Lucius all he needs to know. Despite the make shift hospital being overrun with rats and lice, Lucius and Margarete operate, medicate, treat an assortment of neurological diseases brought on by the war, and fall in love.
I hadn’t read a book I thoroughly enjoyed and was awed by for months, but then I read The Winter Soldier. It is beautiful and exciting, yet graphically describes the horror of The Great War. It took a while for The Winter Soldier to grab me, but when it did, I was hooked!