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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Carolyn S. (Kennesaw, GA)

Ellie and the Harpmaker
This was a wonderful book, calm and relaxing to read. There were a few dark and sad moments, but overall very satisfying even with a very predictable ending. I think the book was a very good debut novel, but the main characters, especially the harp maker needed further character development.
Kathryn S. (St. Helena Island, SC)

Ellie and the Harpmaker
What a pleasurable read! Even though the plot was obvious from the beginning, it was fun to meander through the book, discovering some interesting tidbits about the harp along the way. It would make a good book club selection, conversations about relationships and how they go wrong (or right!).
Jana G. (Houston, TX)

Conflicted
I looked forward to reading this book based on the title. Anything referencing music grabs my attention. As I got well into the story I did not enjoy the plot, I did not like any of the secondary characters and ultimately I was frustrated. There was a lot going in with the primary characters and I think that could have been expanded upon and been more of an enjoyable read.
Clare M. (Naperville, IL)

Potential, but fell short
Ellie and the Harpmaker is a romance novel that addresses issues of domestic abuse, paternity rights, and finding oneself. The writer introduced Ellie and Dan in an interesting way that immediately hooked me. The description of Dan's handiwork in crafting harps and his warm, inviting barn set the perfect stage for their love story to unfold. Unfortunately however, the story never picked up momentum from there. Even the supposed exciting twists and turns were quickly and tidily resolved leaving me feeling confused and wanting more. While I appreciate that Hazel Prior tried to make this romance story more substantive these plot points never felt truly cohesive or natural. For example, Ellie's friend is supportive and a free spirit who helps Ellie find her independence. However, this friend halfway through the book leaves on vacation and doesn't return! As the reader this felt like an easy way to dispense of a character and really pulled me out of the main plot. How this friend was woven into the story felt forced and may not have even been necessary from the beginning. I think this book was a good romance story it lacked a natural flow of the substantive plot points that I sorely missed.
Amy S. (Tucson, AZ)

This One Will Tug at Your "Harp" Strings
After reading several emotionally tense books as of late, I needed the sweet simplicity of Ellie and the Harpmaker. I wish I was as eloquent as Dan in my description of the world around me! I loved how the words he used floated through the air like music and wrapped themselves around my heart- -and obviously, Ellie's too!

What I struggled with here was all the DRAMA required for Ellie to be okay with realizing and then accepting that her experiences in the harp barn and with an honest, open, creative individual had changed her. Ellie's husband, Clive, was what she needed at one point in her life. As Ellie opened herself to new experiences, what she needed and saw for her life took a different form. I think she should have been allowed to choose that without such extreme consequences. Those extreme consequences felt too over the top for me. For example, there is very little mention or evidence of Clive's excessive drinking throughout the book, until he is a full blown alcoholic downing bottles of whiskey in a matter of days.

In spite of a climax that just felt too overdone for me, this is a book I would definitely recommend--if for nothing else than the beautiful gift of the author's description of what is right in front of us when we take the time to see it.

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