Issue: October 1, 2022
The Call of the Wrens.
By Jenni L. Walsh
Nov. 2022. 400p. Harper Muse, paper, $17.99 (9781400233885)
Walsh (Side by Side, 2018) follows two English women, Marion and Evelyn, showing how they became involved with the Women’s Royal Naval Service, more commonly known as the Wrens.
The reader is introduced to Marion at the start of WWII, when her friend Sara comes to meet with her and persuade her to rejoin the Wrens for the coming war, continuing the work she had done in WWI. Her history gradually unfolds over the course of the book, taking several twists and turns until her connection with Evelyn is finally revealed. Evelyn has been protected and coddled her entire life owing to a physical disability and her posh upbringing. She finds ways to act out and be rebellious, but it isn’t until Churchill declares war that Evelyn finds a way to slip out of her mother’s grasp by joining the Wrens.
This well-written, straightforward book will be of interest to readers curious about the types of work available to English women who wanted to aid in war efforts during both world wars.
— Rebecca Gerber
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