Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a 22-year-old medical student when World War I explodes across Europe. He enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. Instead, he finds himself in a commandeered church in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains. The other doctors have fled, and a single nurse named Sister Margarete remains.
War rages across the winter landscape, and he falls in love with this fierce, capable woman. The shell-shocked soldiers, in particular, present a challenge they are ill-equipped to address. Still Lucius and Margarete do their best.
To save one damaged soldier, Lucius makes choices that will impact all their lives in ways difficult to imagine.
A story of guilt and atonement, its pace and tension make this an engaging read.