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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 listeners say about Ellie and the Harpmaker

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Sweet Story

This was a delightfully beautiful and sometimes funny story. I throughly enjoyed every bit of it. The narrator was delightful also.
I also listened to How the Penguins Saved Veronica and I look forward to more books by this author.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Engrossing Story, Lovable Characters

Enjoyed everything about this book but the ending, which felt rushed and unfulfilling. Despite this, very memorable characters, engrossing romantic story, beautiful depiction of rural England. Narrators are excellent.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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

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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!

1 person found this helpful

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Kind, thoughtful, romantic yet realistic

This is by far one of the loveliest novels I have ever read. The development of characters, along side the audio depiction, paired to make this a 5-star winner! Sensitive without being cliche! A worthwhile read!

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Great!

This is a beautiful story of how two very different people can fall in love and bring richness to each other’s lives. Opposites attract.

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Sweet

Sweet and fun. Light read, enjoyable characters. Far fetched, but forgivably so. Glad I read it.

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Fabulous in every way

I am a harpist, and this book was so engrossing, I hardly could stop listening to it, as it was the most well written, and narrated book I have ever heard. All the details about harps were accurate, and the description of the music made by a harp was magical. The characters were so real, along with the scenery, put me right there into the story itself. This novel was more satisfying than any movie I have seen since childhood. The author fashioned a story and a beautiful place where I would love to be. The feelings and personalities of Ellie & the Harp maker were demonstrated with every word and action, in the most charming, inviting, and unsuspecting ways, yet the most loving possible. The actors chosen to narrate the story were perfect, and also the best I have ever experienced, because they brought them to life. I feel like they are the nicest people I ever met, and I want to go to the Harp Barn and meet them in person, and buy one of the harps made there. It is a story with many unexpected and compelling scenes of every human emotion possible, including romance, action, suspense, and moves between a fairy tale and the realities of a complex and roller coaster lives. This satisfied all my emotional longings and desires, which have been tossed around and about mercilessly because of today’s changing world of a pandemic, climate changes looming, terrorists (though none in this story) and bad news…because it is sweet, genuinely refreshing, and down to earth. I bought the paper book as well, and will be recommending it to anyone and everyone, especially harpists and those with dreams that have been put on hold.