Promoting independent writers

Writing is our passion


Welcome to Pergola Press, the home of independent writers.

Please feel free to browse as you would in a bookshop – our books are listed down the left and you can read excerpts.

The Children of Kumbhalgarh and other stories by Valerie Thornhill In Restoration by Valerie Thornhill Cynthia loves her Fiat 500 by Valerie Thornhill 1955 The Summer When by Valerie Thornhill The Tycoon's Tale by Valerie Thornhill


1955: The Summer When...


In Restoration (Winner of the Peoples Book Prize for Fiction 2012) £7 + postage


The Children of Kumbhalgarh £4 + postage


The Tycoon's Tale £3 +postage


Cynthia loves her Fiat 500 - FREE (Postage only)

1955: The Summer When…

The Summer When by Valerie Thornhill1955 The Summer When… recalls the thrill and apprehension of a student invited, on the first long vacation, to stay with her professor in Paris. Travelling across a continent recovering from six years of war, she gets into scrapes through her naively optimistic attitude, dented by actual experience of people and life in general.

As she embarks on this journey into adulthood, she meets Parisian intellectuals, Russian refugees, a Spanish bullfighter, Italian mafiosi, an SS recruit and other students on individual quests for diversion, consolation and love. In 1955 travel was by steam train, there was no mass tourism, no contraceptive pill, television was in its infancy, the age of consent was twenty-one and the internet didn’t exist!



1955: The Summer When...

ISBN 978-0-9950335-2-0

Or buy the Kindle edition from Amazon

…an engagingly honest account of her roller-coaster adventures across Europe by a Fifties girl before the feminist movement bagan.

Susan Cockcroft, university and adult education tutor

1955: The Summer When...

ISBN 978-0-9950335-2-0

In Restoration – winner of The People’s Book Prize for Fiction in 2012

In Restoration by Valerie ThornhillIn Restoration by Valerie ThornhillThis powerfully written book will appeal to a wide audience in its sensitive exploration of loss and restoration across three generations in England and Italy. The tragic death of their child pitches fiercely independent Olivia and Paul, her art restorer partner, into the unfamiliar world of a Tuscan hill town and the nearby valley community. Restoring a long-neglected farmhouse initiates Olivia into the rural culture of survival and adaptation, and she learns much about herself and others from this life-changing experience.

The writer’s evocation of contrasting landscapes at home and abroad provides a telling metaphor for the complex emotional and psychological terrain which all, to a greater or lesser extent, must traverse. As the reader approaches the end of this thought-provoking novel, a deeper understanding of the human process of ‘restoration’ emerges.

In Restoration (Winner of the Peoples Book Prize for Fiction 2012) £7 + postage

ISBN 978-1905609321

Or buy from Amazon Kindle Store 5 stars

Review in Valley Life, by Francesco Nevola:

In Restoration tells the story of a ‘smiling valley’ with secrets to reveal. For over thirty years Valerie Thornhill has been visiting the Tuscan countryside where she has a home overlooking the Val di Chiana.

Her novel is as informed by her acute observation of nature, both Italian and British, as by her astute ability to render the often complicated relations uniting people. Reading her book, enriched by years of experience living in Tuscany, we learn as much about the British as we do about the Italians. Written with sensitivity, In Restoration is an engaging story by a distinctive new voice from which we look forward to a sequel.

Set between the hills of Tuscany and the suburbs of the Home Counties, Valerie Thornhill’s first novel surpasses the confines of the by-now-familiar territory of home renovation stories. Instead, she unfolds a peruasive drama of love, loss and reconciliation. With passages as fresh as plein-air sketches, Valerie Thornhill makes Nature the protagonist of her book. Her closely observed descriptions of contrasting landscapes, both Tuscan and British, natural and urban, endow her settings with the metaphorical power to inform and reveal the deep emotional under-currents of the personalities that populate her narrative.

Unravelled over several decades and generations, we are gradually involved in the fabric of connections that binds the seasonal British visitors of her story to the community of Italians who help them make a home in the Tuscan landscape. Played out by a central trio of characters: Paul, a restorer of paintings, and his conmpanion Olivia are haunted by a tragic death. They seek emotional refuge in Tuscany where Gianni, the enigmatic stonemason, draws Olivia into a complicated and often hilarious relationship.

Our involvement in the experience of loss and recovery that permeates the characters of In Restoration is such that on closing the book we feel as though we are parting with old friends.

The Children of Kumbhalgarh

The Children of Kumbhalgarh by Valerie ThornhillThis collection of short stories, encompassing a wide variety of characters and locations in Britain, Italy, Japan, India and North America, has received high praise and proved the author to be a most observant and perceptive writer with a deep understanding of the ways people of all ages, male and female, think and feel. An uncommon descriptive talent enables her to sense the atmosphere of location and to convey it to her readers.

The Children of Kumbhalgarh £4 + postage

The Tycoon’s Tale

The Tycoon's Tale by Valerie ThornhillThis modern version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, relates with humour and insight a compelling story of the impact of events on a multi-millionaire who is forced to question his role as an international financier and his neglect of family life and the everyday activities which can be more fulfilling than endless jetting around the world, playing the money market.

The Tycoon's Tale £3 +postage

Cynthia loves her Fiat 500

Cynthia loves her Fiat 500 by Valerie ThornhillValerie Thornhill’s short story distils gentile satire from the hilarious experiences of two young British women in 1960s Rome, confronted by the heady blend of fashion culture and Latin masculinity, all centred round the purchase of a Fiat 500.


Cynthia loves her Fiat 500 - FREE (Postage only)  

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Delivery and Returns Policy

At Pergola Press we wish to give you the best value-for-money service.

  • UK customers we will despatch your books promptly by Royal Mail First Class. The delivery charge is £2.00

For non-UK customers we will send your books by air mail at a charge of

  • Europe £6.00
  • Rest of the World £8.00


At Pergola Press we want you to be totally satisfied with our books and our service!


We take pride in our prompt despatch and the majority of orders are posted first class on the day of order, when ordered before 15:00 on weekdays and before 10:00 on Saturdays, with no posting on Sunday.

We will email you to let you know that your order has been shipped so you can look out for it, or alternatively you can log on and track your order.


Occasionally, we know that you may want to return items and very occasionally items may be faulty or we might mess up.

That’s why we offer a 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed, returns policy.

We hope you will be very happy with your purchase but if for any reason you aren’t, then at anytime within 30 days from your order or delivery you can

1) Cancel the order if we haven’t shipped it,


2) If we have shipped it, then contact us to let us know you will be returning an item and then post it back to us in its original condition.

To contact us please email us info @ When you email please state the reason for the return, your name and if possible your order reference number from your electronic receipt.

When you send the product back to us please make sure you have packaged the item securely and if possible enclose a copy of the electronic receipt and/or your name and address details.

If we do not receive the item back from you, then, we may not be able to refund you so you please consider registered post.

As soon as we receive notice of your cancellation of an order, which we haven’t shipped then we will refund you for the purchase.

When we have received items back in their original condition then we will refund you and also give you a postage credit against your next purchase to cover the cost of posting items back to us.

If the item is faulty or if we have messed up then we will liaise with you to get the item back at our expense and either exchange it or refund you as you wish.

If you have any questions or queries about the returns policy or any problems with your purchase please email info @ and we will be happy to be of service.

We want you to be happy, long term customers of Pergola Press and also for you tell your friends about us, so we will always deal with you fairly!