Book Review- Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior

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In the rolling hills of beautiful Exmoor, there’s a barn. And in that barn, you’ll find Dan. He’s a maker of exquisite harps – but not a great maker of conversation. He’s content in his own company, quietly working and away from social situations that he doesn’t always get right.

But one day, a cherry-socked woman stumbles across his barn and the conversation flows a little more easily than usual. She says her name’s Ellie, a housewife, alone, out on her daily walk and, though she doesn’t say this, she looks sad. He wants to make her feel better, so he gives her one of his harps, made of cherry wood.

And before they know it, this simple act of kindness puts them on the path to friendship, big secrets, pet pheasants and, most importantly, true love.


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A woman came to the barn today. Her hair was the color of walnut wood. Her eyes were the color of bracken in October. Her socks were the color of cherries, which was noticeable because all the rest of her clothes were sad colors.

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Over the course of my blogging journey I have come to discover that I am drawn to novels that involve arts in any form, whether that is through painting, music, dance, etc. Ellie and the Harp Maker fell perfectly in to this niche. I knew absolutely nothing about harps, especially harp making, and this book has given me a new appreciation for the instrument. Dan’s passion for the harp rubbed up off on me!

There is something beautiful about Hazel Prior’s writing. It completely captivates the reader and it feels like these are characters who you know personally. I am was truly invested in the outcome of their story. I will say that I did not always agree with their decision or how they went about certain things, particularly when it comes to Ellie, but I could understand why those decisions were made. That was part of the beauty of this story.

The story is told through alternating perspectives, and while I enjoyed reading from Ellie’s point of view, it was Dan who was truly the highlight for me. There is something endearing about his character and seeing how he looks at the world in a different way than most people. It was actually quite refreshing!

Ellie and the Harp Maker is one of those books that I have come to appreciate more as more time has gone on. On the surface it appears to be a simple story about two very different people coming together, but it is so much more than that.


Yes! I think Ellie and the Harp Maker is a unique and more quiet romance. I appreciate that both of the characters grow together and separately as the story progresses.

Thank you to Netgalley and Berkeley Press for sending me an eARC in exchange for an honest review!


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