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Ellie and the Harpmaker

Written by: Hazel Prior
Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
Categories: Romance, Contemporary
5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A rich, heartwarming, and charming debut novel that reminds us that sometimes you find love in the most unexpected places.

Dan Hollis lives a happy, solitary life carving exquisite Celtic harps in his barn in the countryside of the English moors. Here, he can be himself, away from social situations that he doesn’t always get right or completely understand.

On the anniversary of her beloved father’s death, Ellie Jacobs takes a walk in the woods and comes across Dan’s barn. She is enchanted by his collection. Dan gives her a harp made of cherrywood to match her cherry socks. He stores it for her, ready for whenever she’d like to take lessons.

Ellie begins visiting Dan almost daily and quickly learns that he isn’t like other people. He makes her sandwiches precisely cut into triangles and repeatedly counts the (17) steps of the wooden staircase to the upstairs practice room. Ellie soon realizes Dan isn’t just different; in many ways, his world is better, and he gives her a fresh perspective on her own life.

©2019 Hazel Prior (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“How I loved this book! An uncommonly lovely story told with elegance, insight, and so much heart. Hazel Prior’s brilliant debut will delight.” (Kristan Higgins, New York Times best-selling author of Good Luck With That)

"A beautiful love song of a story, wonderfully told with a warm heart and much hope. Hazel Prior’s writing is a lyrical delight.” (Phaedra Patrick, international best-selling author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper)

“Prior’s debut resonates with a clear voice, depicting love evolving from a friendship based upon genuine acts of kindness.... Ellie and Dan, both delightful, down-to-earth characters, selflessly put each other’s needs ahead of their own, and fans of fast-paced romantic stories will enjoy watching them discover true happiness together." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Ending was meh

The ending felt rushed and not thought out as I would have hoped for. Made it seem like there should have been an epilogue at least. Loved the narrative in this book

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Loved This Story

It's a simple story that is so sweet. You can really understand the characters and what they are feeling. I enjoyed it so much. Maybe its because the Harp Maker reminded me of my brother.

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Utterly charming

Utterly charming story. Wonderful, believable performances by the narrators. My fingers are crossed for a sequel!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • RueRue
  • 2020-01-14

Sweet story

A very sweet story, worthy of (5) stars except for a melodramatic turn about 2/3 into the story. Good narrators, especially Phillip Battley, would really captured the character of Dan the harpmaker.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pinklady
  • 2020-03-11

Such a lovely story.

I haven't read anything from this author before so I wasn't sure if I could trust her with where the characters were going in this story. But I am happy to day that I loved it and was very satisfied with how things ended up. So many giggles of cuteness with Dan and his perception of the world. So much sadness when things went wrong. Lots of feels in this story.

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  • Julie Maria Goggins
  • 2020-03-02

Highly recommended!

If you liked Eleanor Oliphant. then this is for you!!!
A great narration, especially the Dan chapters.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Beth Garbo
  • 2020-02-24

Nice for St. Patty's

I found the character of Fan to be too similar to the boy in, "Curious Incident of a Dog in Nighttime." I found Ellie to be too sappy and unsurprising. It's a sweet story, and helped bring in the St. Patty's Day spirit, but I'm not in love. The voice characters' accents were appealing.

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  • David Tousey
  • 2019-11-11

Lovely Every Which Way

This is a lovely story (...been reading some heavy stuff, including the news...). Well written, lovely metaphors and for myself I sensed the manipulation early on of Clive, having lived through it. Character development is essential to a good story - even a romance - and this is beautifully done. Wish I could live in Exmoor - with the forests and the ponies. (...been there only to visit...)
Enjoy!

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  • adele gibson
  • 2019-09-26

Stellar narration, sweet story!

The narrators were great! Especially brining Dans character to life. He’s a gem I will remember!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharon Seidman
  • 2019-09-05

excellent in every way

I just loved it. Beautiful in every dimension . A true gem of a book.

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  • Marilyn Robinson
  • 2019-08-31

Exquisite in Every Way

Beautiful story, such expressive use of language, fabulous narration! Would love to hear more from both author and narrator.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Joanne1953
  • 2019-08-22

Overall enjoyable

I am happy I listened to this novel, but I did get terribly impatient with Ellie. The explanation for her wimpiness being due to low self-esteem just wasn’t enough for me. That might have worked if she had been 18, but by her mid 30’s, she should have grown up and recognized the manipulative behavior of both her husband and the harpmaker’s sister.
Other than that, it was an enjoyable listen.

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  • Judy A. Masters
  • 2019-08-15

a sweet story, just right for a little joy

Ellie's quest to complete or a least make a dent in her bucket list stumbles upon the harpmaker's studio and her best life begins