Ellie and the Harpmaker (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Ellie Jacobs takes a walk near her home in the Exmoor countryside one day. While her husband, Clive, is a domineering lout, Ellie tries to create a peaceful life for herself by writing poetry and walking in the woods. On this day, however, Ellie comes across a barn that has been converted into a harpmaker's studio. Dan Hollis, the harpmaker, isn't like anyone she has ever met. He's a quiet loner, spectacularly awkward yet incredibly handsome. When Dan impulsively gives Ellie one of his harps, Clive demands that Ellie return it. Dan takes it back but suggests that Ellie could visit her harp whenever she wants. Dan then introduces Ellie to his erstwhile girlfriend, Rhonda, a professional harpist, who agrees to give her lessons. When Ellie discovers a secret about Rhonda, that revelation changes Dan's quiet world forever. You will find yourself yearning for this odd pair's happiness.

— Carol


A rich, heartwarming and acclaimed debut novel that reminds us that sometimes you find love in the most unexpected places, now in paperback.

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 (seventeen) 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.

About the Author

Hazel Prior is a harpist based in Exmoor, England. Originally from Oxford, she fell in love with the harp as a student and now performs regularly. She's had short stories published in literary magazines, and has won numerous writing competitions in the UK. Ellie and the Harpmaker is her first novel and she is working on her second.

Praise For…

Praise for Ellie and the Harpmaker
Ellie and the Harpmaker is uplifting escapism….fresh and sweet, rejuvenated by a set of unusual characters, the raw beauty of England and the musicality of Prior’s prose. … Prior’s lyricism feels like a warm song.”—The Washington Post

“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 bestselling author of Good Luck With That

“With the character-driven charm of Liane Moriarty's and Sara Baume's novels…delightfully heartwarming…guaranteed to tug at readers' heartstrings.”—Booklist

“A delightful novel about our inability to see the truth in our own lives, especially when it comes to personal relationships. Though this sort of topic is often fodder for angst-ridden tragedies, this one is a heartwarming beach read.”—The Free Lance-Star
“A lyrical, unexpected book.”—BookRiot

"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 bestselling author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

“Wow, what a love story. Ellie and the Harpmaker is uplifting and full of heart, and I couldn’t put it down! Perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.”—Jo Thomas, author of Late Summer in the Vineyard

“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

"A wonderful, genuine, heartwarming, funny, and beautifully written book. If you love Kate Atkinson, Jojo Moyes, or Gail Honeyman, you will fall in love with Ellie and the Harpmaker."—Rebecca Tinnelly, author of Never Go There

"A lyrical, almost fairytale-like novel, as resonant and mysterious as a Celtic harp. The novel shines with all the grace and harmony of a handmade instrument, and shows us what can happen when a woman yearning for meaning meets a solitary man dedicated to his craft...and they both decide to open their hearts to possibility."—Juliet Blackwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Carousel of Provence
“A melodious and heartwarming debut about love, friendship, and a secret that could change everything. This one is special.”Emily Liebert, USA Today bestselling author of Some Women and Pretty Revenge
Product Details
ISBN: 9781984803801
ISBN-10: 1984803808
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 8th, 2020
Pages: 368
Language: English