Roger Penfound worked for twenty five years as a TV and radio producer for the BBC making programmes across a wide range of current affairs and education sectors. In 1999, he set up his own production company, Performance Media Ltd. He is married with three grown up daughters. He studied at The University of East Anglia (UEA) in the early 70s and during that time got to know rural East Anglia which is the setting for this novel.
About the novel: A note from the author
‘The Guest Who Stayed’ is based on a true story told to me by my mother about distant relations on her side. I mulled it over in my head for about thirty years, determined that when I eventually sat down to write my first novel - this would be it.
I think what attracted me to the story initially was the relationship between the two men, Jed and Jack, who in the course of the novel move from mutual hatred to dependency upon on each other. Their relationship is defined through the woman they both love and all three are bound into the complex web of intrigue because they each need something from the other – but at a price.
I was also drawn by the generational differences. The first part of the story takes place soon after the end of the First World War when people expected change and dared to hope that dreams and ambitions might be achieved. In the second part of the story, the repercussions of the early chapters are played out against a backdrop of the Second World War. By this time, attitudes have changed and the presence of a massive US military force in this sleepy corner of England adds fuel to a more permissive and reckless attitude.
The story is essentially a family saga, and contains many of the trials, tribulations and challenges that we all face at some time. Friendships and
family relations can be fickle and it sometimes only takes a small misjudgement to trigger profound consequences.