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The Guest Who Stayed [Kindle Edition]

Roger Penfound
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 303 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

In the gloom and austerity of post First World War Britain, three young people are brought together in a sleepy English market town – each with a burning ambition to break away from the shame and deprivation that has beset their youth. The arrival of a war damaged veteran in their midst challenges their idealistic hopes for the future, unleashing passion, deceit and betrayal into their nascent lives. Years later the repercussions of this tragedy return to haunt the next generation. Against a backdrop of a new world war, one couple’s search for romance and love is cruelly threatened when a crime hidden for many years is finally brought to the surface exposing the fragile relationships within a family that harbours a terrible secret. This is a family saga set against the backdrop of a world in turmoil where traditional values are turned upside down by the emergence of a new order.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1055 KB
  • Print Length: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Performance Media Ltd (28 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009H51ZVC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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More About the Author

'The Guest Who Stayed' is Roger Penfound's debut novel, available on Kindle e-books. It tells the story of a rural family united by ambition but divided by deceit, passion and shame. The setting is based in East Anglia where Roger studied at university in the early '70s.

Roger is now working on his second novel,'Beyond the Comfort Zone'. The central character is a disgraced journalist sacked for phone hacking who finds himself involved in a centuries old murder with chilling consequences for the present day. It is due for release in Spring 2014.

Before taking up the pen, Roger worked for the BBC for twenty five years and also ran his own production company.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Based on a real story 13 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The first half of the book tells the backstory of the main characters - Jack, Jed, Alice, and Flora, and at one point I wondered where it was all going, especially the story of Jack. The threads come together though in the second half, and this previous knowledge helps us to understand the actions of the characters.

Actions have consequences, and the consequences of mere minutes can be far-reaching and devastating, affecting future generations.

The characters are well-drawn, from a slightly dull, awkward young Jed, to calculating Alice, pretty Flora and war-torn Jack. Later come the off-spring and various lovers. This is a true family saga that stretches across forty years of the twentieth century - forty years of turmoil, both social and economic. Jed's world starts as a labourer with a handcart and finishes as a successful businessman. His life is the one that really encapsulates the transformation of that period.

This is a story of betrayal, frustration, deceit, love, passion, jealousy and death, set in the sleepy Norfolk village of Frampton. It's a terrific read, especially the second half. I couldn't put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB 28 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.and was surprised it is Roger's debut novel. It had so much going on and when you thought you knew the outcome of a situation,it twists and turns to become completely different to what you thought .will definitely be looking for more from this author .Excellent read ,great characters ,superb story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A terrific family saga 26 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A wonderful family saga with strong characters in a strong setting: Frampton is almost a character in its own right, and I liked its role in forming the characters, as well as their role in developing it. All the characters, even minor ones, play their part, and all the strands come together at the end. I'm glad that the ending was hopeful, if not entirely happy. If I have any regrets, it's that there wasn't more on some of seemingly secondary characters. As Tolkien said of Lord of the Rings, he wished he'd made the book longer.

Many things recur in the novel (early loss of parent; difficult relationship with surviving parent; terrible wartime experiences; coping with bad actions or decisions; not to mention illness), yet this is no Groundhog Day; each character faces their version of the recurring challenges in a different way. Sons and daughters learn from their parents’ mistakes, yet cannot entirely escape their genetic make-up. Nature and nurture both play their part.

The development of Jed's character, in particular, is good: he visibly and plausibly develops from taciturn and crass young man, full of jealousy and suspicion, into a supportive parent and sound businessman, who has learned to trust and to delegate. I was particularly touched by Jed's love for Evie even though she is not his daughter; he loves her partly for herself, and also for the reminders of Alice. Good too that he gradually comes to like Jack, despite everything. Jack, seemingly at first the more attractive man, is more flawed, for reasons that gradually become clear, yet his staying to the end is an act of devotion and not simply selfish. None of the main characters is without flaws; yet the author allows us to forgive them their faults and love them for their virtues.

I was impressed by how well personal lives are interweaved with working lives; working hard and being successful is as important a driver for the characters as their love lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping and thought-provoking book 22 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a cleverly written story which I found hard to put down. The characters are all strong and engaging.
The book begins by giving a brief outline of their lives/situations and then brings them together using twists and turns which are sometimes very unexpected. I believe it is based on a true story and the author seems to be able to write from both a male and female perspective. I'm looking forward to a sequel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable saga 22 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Great War is over and shy and reserved, Jed Carter befriends Alice and Flora and each has a dream to better themselves. When Alice persuades Jed she'd make the ideal wife, they start out on a new, if a little shaky, life together.
Meanwhile, war veteran, Jack sells his business and moves to the country when he learns some devastating news about his health.
When Jack meets Alice and Flora little do any of them know what an impact he'll have on all their lives or the lives of generations to follow.
A thoroughly enjoyable saga with plenty of twists and turns.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! 1 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A really compelling read, 'The Guest who came to stay' opens up the issues of family, love and grief, tackling head on the divisions that arise between the characters. The contrast between Alice and Flora is carefully drawn and the use of incident such as the fairground ride and the locations add a great deal to the atmosphere. This is a war time tale with a contemporary meaning.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ENJOYABLE READ 19 Oct. 2013
By Mildie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book and could not put it down until I had finished it. It was well written. Recommended read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A complex family intrigue 27 Jun. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A complex tale of family intrigue and machinations across the decades. A lot of threads throughout the book which encourage the reader to turn the page to see what happens next. The threads come together at the end making sense of the whole book. An enjoyable read.
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