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


Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. I like Nevil Shute's writing. I think A Town Like Alice is his best work so I would always recommend that title first. I do think he is very good at describing life in the British Armed Services during WWII. Those that enjoy military history and writing will like his books, but even I enjoyed them (and I have little knowledge of planes and guns).

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked the main character. I really wanted to like the female lead character, but she frustrated me by her giving up in the end because it seemed so unlike her character (from the way she acted in the past).

Have you listened to any of Damien Warren-Smith’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first title I have listened to that he has read.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, but I enjoyed it in long stretches.

Any additional comments?

I noticed this is offered under a different title on Audible. The other title is Breaking Wave. I guess the publisher was revamping older novels with newer titles? I prefer this title. But if you are a Shute fan and begin to purchase all the Shute Audible titles on offer, you may want to check the description of each book first to make sure you are not purchasing duplicate books. I noticed several other of his books are offered under two different titles.

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- Sharon

Two Titles Same Book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Bittersweet yet hopeful

What other book might you compare Requiem for a Wren to and why?

The Breaking Wave. It's the same book

Any additional comments?

Look before you leap. I don't know why Audible doesn't warn that two titles are the same novel only different performers.

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- John H

Book Details

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