The tragic death of their child precipitates Olivia and art restorer Paul into the unfamiliar world of a Tuscan hill town. Searching for an emotional refuge, they restore a derelict farmhouse with the help of the enigmatic stonemason, Gianni. More
In this compelling drama of love, loss and reconciliation, the tragic death of their child precipitates Olivia and art restorer Paul into the unfamiliar world of a Tuscan hill town.Searching for an emotional refuge, they restore a derelict farmhouse with the help of the enigmatic stonemason, Gianni. Within the vividly contrasting settings of suburban Surrey and a remote valley in Tuscany, Olivia becomes involved in complex, sometimes comic, relationships across generations. Valerie Thornhill, in this finely-written and unusual book, draws on her intimate experience of Italy to create a gripping story that deepens our understanding of the way we adapt and restore our environment, as well as ourselves, in response to the unexpected turns of fate.With its sensitive interplay between physical setting and human relationships, Valerie Thornhill’s In Restoration contains passages of emotional power and brilliance in writing which make her first novel a highly promising work. Martyn Goff, literary criticBooks featuring the restoration of houses in Tuscany [or Provence] have become an Anglo-Saxon literary genre, but what sets apart this account is both authenticity – this is the real Tuscany, acutely observed – and the deeply felt quality of experience. Judith Harris, American journalist and historian - This is a very three-dimensional and visual novel – the scenery and actions are beautifully described and intensely felt. It is a stand-alone book that reveals a deeply involved relationship with Italy, her people, landscapes, art and history. The sense of place is acute. It feeds the eye as well as the mind. Valerie Thornhill’s is a fresh and distinctive new voice. Erica Wilkinson, design historian.