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Reader reviews and comments on Ellie and the Harpmaker, plus links to write your own review.

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Ellie and the Harpmaker

by Hazel Prior

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior X
Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior
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  • Published:
    Aug 2019, 336 pages


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There are currently 45 reader reviews for Ellie and the Harpmaker
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Dorothy M. (Maynard, MA)

A lovely love story
Ellie and Dan are two of the world's innocents. In her debut novel, Ellie and the Harpmaker, Hazel Prior introduces us to Dan Hollis, the Exmoor Harpmaker, who lives an isolated life in the woods and spends all his days building beautiful Celtic harps. Ellie Jacobs- who describes herself as the Exmoor housewife, lives with her controlling husband Clive, convinced by her mother that she deserves little and should be happy that anyone would want her. She writes poems that no one will ever read and takes long walks. On one of these walks she explores a hidden lane and stumbles across Dan's workshop. The story of their friendship, told with a true appreciation of the beauty of nature and the necessity of music, will clearly have you rooting for a happy ending - that often seems very unlikely. In the look at relationships, this book reminded me of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society - a great favorite of mine.
Nancy H. (Lisle, IL)

An Enchanting Novel
This is an enchanting book about lost souls finding each other in the beauty of the English countryside. Like a poem or a song, the lyrics of this story reach out and grab your heart and remind you that there are kind and sensitive people in the world, and they occasionally overcome the burdens of everyday life and discover each other. This book transported me to a place of beauty and sensitivity that I didn't know I craved. The plot is almost irrelevant—I expect most readers will, like me, be grateful for the time spent in the company of such deeply felt characters, their music, and their search for kind and meaningful lives.
Marguerite K. (Vernon, CT)

Ellie and the Harpmaker
Author Hazel Prior has written a warm and charming story in 'Ellie and the Harpmaker'. From the first, I loved the two main characters, each of whom was vulnerable in his or her own way, and had a hard time putting the book aside. The changes in their lives as they become closer are positive; the discoveries they make about themselves make them stronger. The ending is very satisfying. I loved it and look forward to more of this author's books. It would make a great 'beach read' and a good counterbalance for any dark, unhappy tale.
Judith G. (Ewa Beach, HI)

Poignant and believable
Ellie confused me. Clive annoyed me. I fell in love with Dan. The depictions of nature were mesmerizing. I was right in the midst of all their glory. I read this in less than one day. I was so involved with the characters I had to get to the end. I wondered from the beginning if Dan was at one end of the autism spectrum but that was never addressed and it didn't matter. What does matter is the idea that you make choices in life everyday. Sometimes they're good choices. Other times they're not...but life continues and making choices is important.
Janice A. (Pearland, TX)

Ellie and the Harpmaker
The characters continued to develop throughout the book. Just as I thought I had Ellie, Clive, and Dan figured out, the plot changed and more layers were revealed. The descriptions of the harp construction were so well written that I imagined being in the workshop watching Dan create his masterpieces. The author also excelled describing the completed harps and the music that came from them. There is a lot going on in the book however when reading it I was not overwhelmed. That feeling came as I thought about writing this review. The richly developed characters - human, animal, and musical - are woven tightly together that I continue to think about them and how they interact.
Mary W. (Altadena, CA)

There is someone for everyone.
I was pulled into the story of Ellie Jacobs in the very first chapter. No, in the very first paragraph. The chapter also introduced us to Dan Hollis, the Harp Maker. A wonderful story ensued and it was difficult to close the book to tend to other daily duties. You sense the promise of a good story, despite the turmoils and problems. A good read with a satisfying ending.
Marsha S. (Nags Head, NC)

Ellie and the Harpmaker
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes to read books with interesting and unusual characters. Initially seeming simple and charming, the tension builds throughout the story with a dramatic turn of events leading to a satisfying conclusion. The only thing I disliked about it is that it took Ellie so long to develop some backbone and stand up for herself.
Diane T. (Slingerlands, NY)

Innocence and hope
Ellie and the Harpmaker is a heartfelt story of romance, tragedy and hope. The characters are interesting and well thought out. At this time of escalating dissatisfaction with everything, it is refreshing to read a book that takes you away from that and gives you pause to think about the purity of viewing life through innocence. Hazel Prior has touched on all human emotions in a thoughtful and gentle way, giving us all hope in our own lives.

Beyond the Book:
  Exmoor: Now and Then

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