The Call of the Wrens Book Club Questions and Recipe

*If you are new here, WELCOME! For The Call of the Wrens, I provide your book club with a brief summary, food ideas and a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!

The Call of the Wrens Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Call of the Wrens Book Club Questions and Recipe

Jenni L. Walsh is the author of several historical women’s fiction novels, as well as several middle grade novels about girls who have defied odds and triumphed (check them out if you have middle grade girls!).

I remember hearing about Jenni when her first women’s fiction historical came out — a novel about Bonnie Parker of the Bonnie and Clyde duo. So, I was excited to read The Call of the Wrens.

The Call of the Wrens is a dual timeline story following two women who join the Wrens (the nickname for the Women’s Royal Naval Service). The first timeline follows the first group of Wrens in WWI and the second timeline follows the second group in WWII. As their stories intersect, the reader learns about these brave groups of women who served Britain in many capacities during the world wars.

Interwoven in both timelines are two unforgettable love stories, friendships between brave women, and characters who battle their own internal enemies even while serving bravely during the war.

I enjoyed this different take on the typical WWI and WWII stories we all know and love. Walsh chose instead to focus on those who primarily served the cause on the home front. I appreciate this because so many served bravely in this capacity, but are often forgotten.

I learned new things about WWI and WWII in this novel and there was so much going on in both storylines. If you liked The Alice Network, which incorporated stories from both world wars as well, then you’ll like this novel. I think this would be an excellent book club pick!

The Call of the Wrens is a novel chosen through Book Club Bites’ collaboration with The Best of Women’s Fiction podcast. Don’t forget to check out the fabulous Best of Women’s Fiction podcast where Jenni L. Walsh discusses The Call of the Wrens and more: HERE.

I’ve provided book club questions and delicious food ideas for The Call of the Wrens and Jenni L. Walsh has a special recipe for you! So if you are looking for book club ideas and more, keep reading!

The Call of the Wrens

Check out these fun bookish gadgets…


Here’s a brief summary of The Call of the Wrens:

From the publisher:

The Call of the Wrens introduces the little-known story of the daring women who rode through war-torn Europe carrying secrets on their shoulders.

An orphan who spent her youth without a true home, Marion Hoxton found in the Great War something other than destruction. She discovered a chance to belong. As a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service—the Wrens—Marion gained sisters. She found purpose in her work as a motorcycle dispatch rider assigned to train and deliver carrier pigeons to the front line. And despite the constant threat of danger, she and her childhood friend Eddie began to dream of a future together. Until the battle that changed everything.

Now twenty years later, another war has broken out across Europe, calling Marion to return to the fight. Meanwhile others, like twenty-year-old society girl Evelyn Fairchild, hear the call for the first time. For Evelyn, serving in the war is a way to prove herself after a childhood fraught with surgeries and limitations from a disability. The re-formation of the Wrens as World War II rages is the perfect opportunity to make a difference in the world at seventy miles per hour.

Told in alternating narratives that converge in a single life-changing moment, The Call of the Wrens is a vivid, emotional saga of love, secrets, and resilience—and the knowledge that the future will always belong to the brave souls who fight for it.

The Book Club Kit
Plus get The Book Club Kit!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
The Call of the Wrens Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Call of the Wrens Book Club Questions and Recipe

For The Call of the Wrens Food Ideas:

There is actually quite a bit of specific food mentioned in this novel, which is unusual for a WWI or WWII novel. I was honestly glad Walsh chose to focus on the action of the characters rather than on rationing or food shortages. If you are wanting to create an English menu for your book club, I think you’ll find plenty of options in this list.

  • Evelyn and her parents arrive at the Harrington’s – pheasant for dinner
  • Marion and Eddie share lunch after arriving to the service – Corned beef
  • Eddie arrives in France and he and Marion meet at the estaminet – sirloin beef, spring cabbage, spuds, and carrots, and pudding for dessert.
  • Percy brings Evelyn tea – tea with lavender and apple
  • Bombings in London begin and Sarah and Evelyn listen over the radio – scones with clotted cream and jam

Jenni L. Walsh was kind enough to provide us with a chocolate mousse recipe that she loves. I think there’s nothing more romantic than a chocolate dessert, and, since there were two touching romance stories in the novel, chocolate mousse is perfect!

There’s also notes on adding extra flavor if you prefer vanilla or coffee hints in your mousse!

Whether you choose something from this list or try your own option, I hope these ideas will get your creative juices flowing to host your book club for The Call of the Wrens.

The Call of the Wrens Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Call of the Wrens Book Club Questions and Recipe
A few tips on making 3-ingredient Chocolate Mousse:

Here are a few tips to help make your cooking experience the best it can be!

  1. This recipe calls for full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream. I used coconut cream and it makes a richer mousse, but you can try with coconut milk.
  2. If you prefer, you can also make this with heavy cream.
  3. This recipe makes about 5 one ounce (shot glass) portions. Mousse is usually enjoyed in small quantities. If you have more than 5 people in your book club, you’ll want to adjust the recipe for your needs!

Whether you choose something from this list or try your own option, I hope these ideas will get your creative juices flowing to host your book club for The Call of the Wrens.

The Call of the Wrens Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Call of the Wrens Book Club Questions and Recipe

The Call of the Wrens Book Club Recipe:

3-ingredient chocolate mousse

3-ingredient Chocolate Mousse

Looking for a rich, chocolate vegan dessert? This easy chocolate mousse is sure to hit the spot! Don’t forget to indulge in this yummy coconut cream dessert while reading The Call of the Wrens!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 5
Calories 143 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can full-fat canned coconut milk or cream for dairy-free
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp Dutch cocoa powder (can substitute regular cocoa powder)
  • 3-4 tbsp powdered sugar (Or powdered erythritol for lower sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional) Or a banana, 1/2 tsp instant coffee, or 2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter

Instructions
 

  • It’s best to refrigerate the coconut milk overnight so the water will separate. Otherwise, freeze for about 10 minutes.
  • Once cold, open the can and transfer only the thick part to a bowl.
  • Using a stand mix or hand beaters, whip the cream until smooth.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and continue to whip until a mousse-like texture is formed. Enjoy!

Notes

This will make about 5 one ounce desserts.
This recipe is based on the recipe created by Chocolate Covered Katie. https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/vegan-chocolate-mousse-recipe/
Keyword chocolate mousse, coconut cream dessert, dairy free chocolate mousse, vegan chocolate mousse
3-ingredient chocolate mousse
3-ingredient chocolate mousse

More Fun from Jenni L. Walsh:

Please insert a short description of your recipe and why it relates to your novel. Include any information you think readers would enjoy!

I have a sweet tooth and, in my house, dinner is usually followed by dessert. The same goes for Marion and her love interest Eddie in The Call of the Wrens. Together, they enjoy sirloin of
sumptuous tender beef, spring cabbage, spuds, and carrot (an actual meal from a French estaminet during the war) and follow it with . . . pudding! What’s better than a simple, quick, and delicious rich pudding to follow a meal? This one is vegan, too, which works well for my (mostly) dairy-free diet.

Good food and a good book go hand-in-hand. What is your favorite food to enjoy while reading?

Anything I can put in a bowl. Aka, a dish I can mindlessly put on my lap or beside me and I’m not nervous it’ll make a mess as I blindly and one-handedly scoop or pick from it. Pudding or mousse. Pretzels, popcorn, or crackers. They all work for me!

Did you sample any interesting food while researching this book? Or experience anything exciting while researching?

While drinking a chamomile tea, I decided that my character Evelyn should be drinking it at that moment too!

The Call of the Wrens Book Club Questions:

*WARNING: May contain spoilers!

These book club questions were kindly provided by the author and/or publisher. The questions were originally written by Marisa Gothie and Nicholle Thery-Williams from the Bookends and Friends book club. Please use only for your book club and do not reproduce them.

1. The cover is an intriguing one. It is haunting to have a single female rider. With the dual point of view and the two strong female narratives, why do you think one woman was shown?

2. Sometimes the most satisfying part of reading a novel is discovering the meaning of the title. The Call of the Wrens is a title that could have different meanings within the context of the story. Marion and Evelyn were “called” by the Women’s Royal Naval Service to serve. A calling is also a purpose. How do you think the title came about and how do both meanings come into context throughout the novel?

3.  Are there any characters you would like to know more about?

4. Walsh uses different techniques in her narrative: alternating chapters, epistolary, and flashback. How do all these techniques enrich the novel? Do you have a favorite technique to read?

5. Both Marion and Evelyn have disabilities that defined their childhoods and shaped who they are. How do these women turn their disabilities into strengths?

6. Eddie and Percy play integral roles in Marion and Evelyn’s lives, as protectors, childhood friends, and lovers. How do these relationships evolve over time? How do these relationships define the other relationships Marion and Evelyn have?

7. Both women enlist for different reasons. Marion aches to belong. Evelyn strives to prove herself. How does the need to belong and the need to be seen continue as themes throughout the novel?

8.The concept of family is discussed throughout the novel. A feeling of creating a family, duty to family, and the roles our families give us. What role does the Wrens play for the characters? How do our families, both biological and chosen, affect our perspectives and behaviors?

9. Names play an important role in the novel. Marion learns her name means “wished for child.” Evelyn has a moniker that makes her feel strong. Marion and Eddie bestow full names to each other. Marion and Evelyn are addressed formally by their last names and intimately by nicknames. Think about the meaning behind your various identities. How does the name define the person? How do the names of the characters provide them with a sense of self?

10. Marion finds comfort, friendship, and a sense of escape while reading books. Do you have a book or character that provides you with similar feelings? 

11. Could you see this novel adapted for film or television? Who would you cast?

12. The author begins and ends the novel with Marion’s point of view. Why do you think she chose to have Marion guide the narrative?

13. Do you read the Author’s Note? Walsh speaks about the inspirations to the novel, her research, and reasons for some creative liberties. In reading what inspired her, did this change the reading of the novel for you? What piece of research or anecdote surprised you? Did you feel compelled to read more about the time period or the real-life people who inspired the novel?

14. Walsh’s previous novels also feature real-life, independent women: Bonnie Parker, Eleanor Dumont. How do you think having a female voice empowers the reader?

Find Jenni L. Walsh:

Jenni can be found online!

Instagram:  instagram.com/jennilwalsh

Facebook: facebook.com/jenni.l.walsh

Twitter: twitter.com/jennilwalsh

www.jennilwalsh.com

Don’t forget to check out the fabulous Best of Women’s Fiction podcast where Jenni L. Walsh discusses The Call of the Wrens and more: HERE.

Have you read The Call of the Wrens? What did you think? Did it satisfy you or were you left wishing for more? What are some similar books you’ve read?

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. In the event of a sale, I will be awarded a small commission (at no extra cost to you or the featured book’s author). All opinions are 100% mine and every book, unless otherwise noted, is handpicked by me to be featured on the site.

Bookish gifts for you or your reader friends!

The Call of the Wrens Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Call of the Wrens Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Call of the Wrens Book Club Questions and Recipe
The Call of the Wrens Book Club Questions and Recipe

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating