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Ellie and the Harpmaker

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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,689 ratings  ·  474 reviews
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
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 2nd 2019 by Bantam Press
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,689 ratings  ·  474 reviews


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Miranda Reads
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Miranda by: Berkley Publishing Group
4.5 stars
description

"Christina, I'm totally in love," I confided, "With the harp."
It was completely and totally unexpected, but it happened.

One day Ellie wanders down a new path and stumbles upon a wonderfully hidden secret.

A harp maker (Dan) lives in a beautiful old barn where he hand-carves harps of all sizes and shapes.

Dan escaped from the modern world in part because he has troubles in most social situations.

In explicably, he takes a liking to Ellie (in part due to her cherry-red socks) - and
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Angela M
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it


3.5 stars rounded up.
I can’t think of any other way to describe this other than what sounds cliche - a sweet, charming story with characters I loved, but that is precisely what it is. Dan, the harp maker, a little quirky from the beginning, reminds me of Don Tillman from the Rosie Project and subsequent books in that series, and Ellie, the housewife- there’s something sad and lovely about her. Predictable from the beginning, but a few things happened here that I was not expecting. Dan, not
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Holly  B
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
3.5 STARs

A cast of quirky characters, with some unexpected and even quite odd turns made this one a unique read for me, although the end was quite predictable.

I'm not a big romance reader so this was a lighter read and definitely a slower paced story than my typical genre. I enjoyed the two main characters Dan and Ellie and their approach to the little joys in life and love for nature and harps of course.

Two lost souls who meet and find friendship and kindness in each other. I may have said,
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Norma * Traveling Sister ~ Semi-hiatus for now until I fully get my reading/reviewing hat on! 😂 I’m almost there! 💕
Enchanting, sweet, & heartwarming!

ELLIE AND THE HARPMAKER by HAZEL PRIOR is a feel-good, delightful, up-lifting, lighthearted, and lovely story that completely entranced me.

HAZEL PRIOR delivers an engaging, humorous, entertaining, enjoyable and beautifully written tale of music and love here that is told through alternating chapters between Dan and Ellie.

I absolutely loved Dan’s endearing, quirky, fun, innocent & loveable character and thought that he definitely stole the show. He was
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ellie and the Harpmaker is such a sweet, feel-good story! I’d also like to visit Exmoor asap!

Deep in the hills of Exmoor, Dan is making harps. He’s not very social and prefers his work to people, anyway.

Ellie stumbles into Dan’s barn one day, and while she looks sad, they have a wonderful conversation, which is not the norm for Dan. He wants to give Ellie something, so he gives her a treasured harp he’s made.

That harp is only the beginning of the story of Ellie and Dan. There’s much more left
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Theresa Alan
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a quirky, original novel that reminded me a little of Where’d You Go Bernadette and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Like Eleanor, Dan isn’t great at reading social cues and gets anxiety talking to people he doesn’t know. He doesn’t care about money, only making harps. When Ellie stumbles into his place, she and Dan begin to talk, and she tells him she is a housewife. For some reason Dan doesn’t understand, she is sad. To cheer her up, he gives her a harp.

We the readers know that
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Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends
3.5 stars

Ellie and the Harpmaker is an entertaining, uplifting eccentric escapism with unusual likable characters. There is nothing new to the overall plot of the story. It's all about the tone to the story. The quirky personalities of the characters drew me into the story right from the start. At times their peculiarities seemed a little extreme yet fun.

Hazel Prior creates an oddly charming and enchanting fairy tale feeling story that is full of heart. I loved the warm friendship here between
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Judy
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written! This was very atmospheric in the manner of a lyrical journey - it almost felt like a fairy tale. Ellie, a housewife of Exmoor, wandered into Dan the harp maker's barn one day and they struck up a conversation. Dan thought she was a little sad so he gave her a beautiful harp. They become fast friends.

This story was enchanting and I know it will stay with me a very long time. I loved the characters Ellie and Dan. I found the writing exquisite in its simplicity.

Thanks so very
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Tucker

Many thanks to Berkely for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

”Music helps fill up the holes that people leave behind”

Ellie and the Harpmarker is a great tale of music and love. We follow Ellie and… the harpmaker. Because whoever was in charge of giving this a title doesn’t know what subtlety is. When the harpmaker, Dan, gives Ellie a harp, completely free of charge, I might add, her life is sent snowballing in both good and bad ways. She begins to fall in love with the harp
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Book of Secrets°ღ
Dan is a harpmaker, crafting gorgeous Celtic harps in his barn in the English countryside. Ellie is a housewife who stumbles upon Dan's barn one day. He gives her a harp that matches the color of her socks, giving Ellie's humdrum life a gentle nudge in a different direction.

I love Celtic harp music, so the description of this book pulled me in. I enjoyed Dan's character the most. He was a bit quirky with a unique way of seeing the world. On the other hand I struggled with Ellie's character. She
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Michelle
Aug 01, 2019 added it
Shelves: abandoned
DNF :(

I am definitely in the minority it seems, but this book just isn't for me. I really tried to give it a go (several times), but I honestly just dreaded picking it up each time I did and when I did I only read a few chapters and wanted to call it quits each time. I made it 50% through.

Sadly, I am sure I am part to blame because I was looking for a story that had a little more substance to it. Having read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and The Girl He Used to Know within the past year,
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Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-besties
Ellie and the Harpmaker is a lovely, debut novel by Hazel Prior that I found completely enchanting!! I found this book to be completely heartwarming—I loved the way it explored an unconventional love story between two people that from the outside shouldn’t work together. A lonely, emotionally abused housewife and a shy, eccentric, and likely autistic harpmaker befriend each other at a time when their souls need that connection.

Ellie is a bored housewife in an unhappy marriage, living in the
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Stephanie Anze
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
“People say that certain sounds can melt a heart of stone. If there is anyone who has that sort of a heart―which I doubt (as far as I am aware hearts are made of fibrous materials, fluid sacs and pumping mechanisms)―if anyone does have a heart composed of granite or flint and therefore not at all prone to melting but just conceivably meltable when exposed to very beautiful sounds, then the sounds made by my cherrywood harp, I am confident, would do it. However, I had a feeling the heart of Ellie ...more
Ari
5 I love this, very stars

Oh my god.
I was not expecting this when I went diving into this book.

#WillBeBackAfter2ndRead
Dale Harcombe
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Ellie visits the Harp Barn, she is stunned at the beauty of the harps made by the owner Dan. She is even more stunned when Dan gives her one of the harps. She’d always believed herself to be happy with her life with her husband Clive. But that visit and the harp reveals something has been missing in her life. The gift of making music. Suddenly it becomes important to her to continue to learn to play the harp. Ellie is prepared to do anything to continue. Dan is happy making his harps but ...more
Lisa Wolf
Ellie and the Harpmaker is a sweet, lovely debut novel that crept up on me and then completely entranced me! Such a magical and deceptively simple tale.

Told through alternating chapters, we get to see the world through Dan and Ellie's eyes. Dan is unusual, to say the least. He loves his solitude, the peace of Exmoor, the woods and streams and pebbles all around him, and most of all, the hand-carved harps that are his passion and his livelihood. He view the world and understands interactions
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✨ A ✨
Jul 03, 2019 marked it as to-read
The average rating for this book is quite good. I am so excited for this

ARC received from Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review
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Amber
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A heartfelt and lovely story about finding friendship and love in the unlikeliest of places and with the unlikeliest of people. Hazel Prior did a superb job in this debut novel. The characters were a pleasure to get to know, especially Dan. I loved seeing the world through his eyes. It was quite refreshing and I always love reading about characters like him and the special someone that befriends them.

This book made me want to take walks through the English countryside, eat small sandwiches, and
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Karen, who loves Eleanor Oliphant
Ellie stumbles across a harp maker in Exmoor and they develop a friendship despite hardship and quirks. This was a sweet read and seems to be inspired by real harps and harpmakers and Exmoor as a place!

Dan the harpmaker seems to maybe be on the autism spectrum, but it is never defined. The romance is definitely a slow and obtuse one but this may be the mood you are in.

This came out August 6 and I had a review copy from the publisher through netgalley but I got behind. This is a cozy read that
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Kimberly
A single word kept going through my head while I was reading this book. That word was lyrical and it really had nothing to do with the poetry Ellie wrote or the music created by the harp. It was the beautifully descriptive writing. I loved the way the author described how the two main characters experienced the world around them. Dan's simple outlook on life and his appreciation of the world around him was mesmerizing and a joy to read. When he took his walks through Exmoor I felt like I was ...more
Talon
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
“But something is not right. Not at all. I would like very much to make it right, but I don’t know how. I have no idea what a man is supposed to do under these circumstances. I am made of the wrong ingredients.”

First things first: I love when stories match their covers. And with Ellie and the Harpmaker, it fit so well that I went back and stared at it when I finished the story. So much simplicity, but so much meaning to the story as a whole. I think that is very important in the books that I
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Kathleen
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I don't read romances because I don't enjoy reading all the sappy love-ish things that always seem to come with them. But this book. This book is all about the leading up to a romantic relationship (sans sappy love stuff) that doesn't seem like it could happen at all and I really enjoyed it. The cover with the pheasant perfectly sets the tone for the book of simple and pure, light and honest. The characters were excellently drawn, although I didn't always like the MC's actions with her husband ...more
Cora
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lata
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auth-f, 2019-read
3.5 stars. Two people come together over harps. Ellie, seemingly happy in her marriage, comes upon Dan, an harp maker, and an unusual person, most probably somewhere on the spectrum. After reluctantly returning a harp that Dan gave to her, she begins teaching herself to play the instrument, and eventually taking lessons with Dan's girlfriend.
The music becomes increasingly important to Ellie, as does Dan, though she does not quite admit to herself, at least for a while, why. Meanwhile, we're
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Kelley
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
ARC received courtesy of Berkley Publishing

The novel was a little slow in the beginning with lots of superfluous words choices to over-describe things. But the idea behind an eccentric harp-maker is wonderful. It's a terrific look into how high functioning people on the spectrum live their own kind of normal life even with the way their brains process differently than others. I liked the idea of how their whole deep friendship started with his random act of kindness and started Ellie on a sort
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Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
Ellie and the Harpmaker is a light, romantic read that builds slowly as it tells the story of two lost souls who find each other in a unique setting - the barn of a harp maker.

This was a sweet read with lyrical writing that tells the story of Dan and Ellie who, through alternating POVs, tell the story of their budding relationship and features a bit of a mystery. Unfortunately, I was expecting a bit more from this book. I found the plot overly simplistic and didn't buy into the romantic
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Onceinabluemoon
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 because I love sweet quirky books, plus so refreshing after reading the news! So many touching lines in this book, restores my faith in mankind when you can enjoy simple goodness.
Cat C
Aug 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: giveaways
I received a copy of this in a Goodreads giveaway and it has not affected my review.

I was excited to read this book but unfortunately it turned out to be very, VERY Not For Me.

Things I liked:

the harps!

the pheasant (and he's a very striking image so I'm glad that the cover has been updated to show him, even if the musician in me enjoyed seeing a music stand, and that gorgeous teal background, on the original cover)

Things that didn't work for me:

Characters who range from unpleasant to outright
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Amy Bruno
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
Absolutely phenomenal! Massive book hangover today. I miss Dan & Ellie already!
Kathy
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a somewhat charming or quaint modern-day fable illustrating that people can make changes in their lives to live in a happier state. The youngish (36) heroine seems to stumble into marriage with a man who wants to be the provider and have a wife waiting for him at home whilst he is doing his actuarial duties. She loves hiking in Exmoor (since she has no job, after all) and again stumbles onto a barn filled with harps.

The harpmaker himself is most definitely somewhere on the autism
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Hazel Prior is the author of ELLIE AND THE HARP MAKER and (coming soon) AWAY WITH THE PENGUINS (UK title)/HOW THE PENGUINS SAVED VERONICA (US title). She is also a freelance harpist. She lives in Exmoor, in England, with her husband and a huge, ginger cat.
“People say that certain sounds can melt a heart of stone. If there is anyone who has that sort of a heart―which I doubt (as far as I am aware hearts are made of fibrous materials, fluid sacs and pumping mechanisms)―if anyone does have a heart composed of granite or flint and therefore not at all prone to melting but just conceivably meltable when exposed to very beautiful sounds, then the sounds made by my cherrywood harp, I am confident, would do it. However, I had a feeling the heart of Ellie the Exmoor Housewife was completely lacking in stony components. I had a feeling it was made of much softer stuff.” 4 likes
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