Requiem for a Wren

  • by Nevil Shute
  • Narrated by Damien Warren-Smith
  • 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Alan Duncan returns to his family home in Australia after the war and several years of study in England. But his homecoming is marred by the mysterious suicide of his parents' quiet and reliable parlour-maid. A search through her belongings in search of clues leads to heart-breaking revelations about the woman's identity, the death of Alan's brother Bill, and, above all, the disappearance of his brother's fiancée, Janet.
Nevil Shute Norway (17 January 1899 – 12 January 1960) was a popular British-Australian novelist and a successful aeronautical engineer. He studied at Balliol College, Oxford, and published his first novel, Marazan, in 1926. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve where he worked on developing secret weapons, but after the conflict he continued to write and settled in Australia where he lived until his death on 12 January 1960. His most celebrated novels include Pied Piper (1942), No Highway (1948), A Town Like Alice (1950) and On the Beach (1957).


What the Critics Say

“My favourite novel, by my favourite author, is a wonderful example of a master's craft. This understated Second World War love story still has a freshness and sincerity more than half a century after it was written. Tragically sad but also uplifting” (Gerald Seymour, Sunday Express)
“Magnificent” (Guardian)
“There is little that Mr. Shute does not know about choosing an appealing story and telling it in a gripping way” (The Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A poignant love story told with great restraint

I was delighted to have the opportunity to reacquaint myself with one of the favourite books of my youth.
Nevil Shute was extremely popular in the 1940s and 50s. He wrote in a straightforward, highly readable style on subjects that he knew about. Thus it is not surprising that there are quite a few technical references in this book, especially to equipment used in the Normandy landings of 1944 (Shute, an officer in the RNVR, was actually present at D-Day) but these are easily comprehensible to the ordinary listener. The atmosphere and tension of those weeks before the invasion is very well caught.
Requiem for a Wren is a poignant love story narrated in a series of well-devised flashbacks and written with great restraint. Sex is never mentioned (possibly one reason why Shute is not widely read today). The book highlights the fact that many of the participants in World War 2 actually enjoyed it - and felt bewildered and rudderless when it was over - not because of any love of violence and brutality but because this was their youth and they were ordinary people projected into an extraordinary situation.
Damien Warren-Smith’s reading is adequate without being in any way outstanding. He presents the narrator’s Australian accent convincingly (at least to this Brit) but I was irritated by several mispronunciations, mistakes which I am sure an Australian who had lived in England throughout the war would not have made.
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- Trevor

Excellent story and narration

Nevil Shute classic so beautifully crafted story and narration could not be bettered.

Would highly recommend this download
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- Fiona

Book Details

  • Release Date: 25-02-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios