Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior #BookReview

EllieAndTheHarpmaker def


Sometimes it takes a chance encounter to discover what happiness really is . . .

Meet Dan: Dan needs peace and order. He likes perfectly triangular sandwiches, the way coffee smells of sunshine and harvest, and the sound of birdsong that drifts into his harp-making workshop on Exmoor. His life is quiet, predictable, and safe from any danger of surprises.

Meet Ellie: Ellie is a dreamer. But recently Ellie has stopped dreaming and her world has become very small. Her days are spent keeping a perfect home for her husband, Clive, and trying to keep him happy.

When Ellie stumbles across Dan’s workshop, they cannot imagine that their lives are about to change forever…

amazon ukamazon com



Ellie and the Harpmaker was Hazel Prior’s first book, published in 2019. I don’t remember reviews of this debut or it’s possible I missed them because I didn’t pay attention at the time but it’s such a beautiful, heart-warming story so Ellie and Dan’s story definitely deserve to be on the reader’s radar. Maybe you might know this author’s other books published a year later – Away With The Penguins and How The Penguins saved Veronica – better so if that’s the case I can recommend you to add this one from the backlist.

Apart from the cover it was especially Dan’s character that I felt intrigued with. I have a soft spot for the introverts and especially for characters who love peace and quiet and lots of routine. I guess I love to read about characters that I would want to be – confident detectives with super sleuthing skills – as much as characters that I can identity with at some level.

Dan isn’t exactly like me though, it’s never named in this novel or given special attention, the author doesn’t make a thing out of it, but in my mind he has the personality traits of a person with autism, he takes things literally, he can’t very well read people either but his child-like honesty and trust in people makes him a very sweet guy. Ellie is married to Clive but as soon as her husband’s introduced into the story everything about him screams dominant and commandeering. While living with someone as lovely as Clive, Ellie finds her escapism at The Harp Barn. She learns to play the harp there while Dan is at work making new instruments. She’s ticking this dream from her bucket list and along the way she discovers she can really be herself around Dan. Ellie is sensitive to who Dan is and how he functions and it was endearing to see how they develop a friendship even when having a friend isn’t evident for either of them. How long can she hold off keeping this from Clive though and how will he react when he learns she hasn’t been spending time with her supposedly injured friend Christina but with another man instead?

The novel certainly had a fair dose of drama and turbulence but many enjoyable and fun moments too. I like it when characters own a pet and I found it very original that there was a pheasant (Phineas) who came into Dan’s life and how well he was cared for. It was also a nice little extra to find out that I share the same last name with Ellie in this novel.

Ellie and the Harpmaker is such a charming and feel-good story about friendship and love and I can’t wait to read more uplifting books by this author.

I bought a paperback copy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.


4 thoughts on “Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior #BookReview

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s