The Call of the Wrens
In The Call of the Wrens, Jenni L. Walsh shines light on courageous women whose feats during two world wars remain relatively unknown. While the story’s protagonists are fictional, the ladies who served in Women’s Royal Naval Service – or Wrens – were not. They were brave and selfless women who risked everything when their country asked.
The novel follows Marion, an orphan aged out of state-sponsored care, through World War I as she joins the Wrens and then finds herself on the outskirts of the war, training and delivering carrier pigeons by motorbike as she moves ever closer to the battlefront.
Likewise, we are introduced to Evelyn, well off in society but who shuns a life of finishing school and serving a husband. Against her parents’ wishes, she runs off to join the sisterhood during World War II and becomes a dispatch rider. Both women show remarkable courage and resolve, their stories slowly weaving together in alternating timelines until at last they converge.
The Call of the Wrens features some of my favorite tropes of found family, underappreciated history, and slow burn romances. Most of all, it features strong women coming into their own. Walsh’s novel builds slowly at first, but the pace quickly kicks up as Marion and Evelyn become aware of their own strengths and motivations as they find themselves drawn closer to the action of the war.
I’d recommend this book to history buffs and fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale. Walsh really captures the intensity of war, transporting the reader back in time and driving home the anxiety and uncertainty of the era, but also the fortitude and sacrifice of the men and women who dared to join the fight.
|Author||Jenni L. Walsh|
|Page Count||368 pages|
|Publish Date||November 15, 2022|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|