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Ellie and the Harpmaker

Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
Categories: Romance, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (50 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

Critic Reviews

“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
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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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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excellent in every way

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

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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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