Cover Image: Ellie and the Harpmaker

Ellie and the Harpmaker

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Member Reviews

The title caught me immediately. My daughter played the harp from age 7 until she was 18. She’s given it up. Now, the harp sits in my dining room in the corner, all alone. I’m trying to sell it. A girl recently came to see it, and as soon as she started playing it, I cried. Such a beautiful sound!
This book was very sweet, and Ellie, wistful as ever, starts to play. As she learns to play, I too, can hear the music. I like the simple life Dan lives and yearn for days such as his, just like my childhood. Does all this make sense? I doubt it, but what a nice ode to harpmakers and Ellie and Dan.

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This could have been a sappy love story but it isn't. It could have cliched--introvert and lonely housewife--but it isn't. It is a lovely story with wonderful characters and written in a lyrical manner. I believe it is a debut novel, and I look forward to more from this writer.

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A single word keep 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 there with him seeing the views he was seeing. From the dewdrops on the grass to the smell of the pine to the tweeting of the birds, I felt like I was with Dan walking through the woods. I loved the way Dan spoke about the wood he used for his harps and how he always noticed color. Also, the way Ellie described harp music as a breath of fresh mountain air and a shaft of sunlight rippling in the water... those were just perfect similes to me. Overly detailed descriptions like this can sometimes bog down a book for me, but not this time. The author's words were perfectly chosen and really helped me get into the mindset of Ellie and Dan and understand the things that were important to them. Like I said... lyrical!

This is a unique, unexpected love story and one that was incredibly sweet and innocent between the two main characters. Ellie was a lonely housewife with an inattentive husband. Dan was an introvert, disliked crowds and loud noises, and mostly kept to himself in the Harp Barn where he lived and worked. Neither of them really thought their lives might be missing something special until they met and started to get to know each other. Dan introduced Ellie to harps and music and gave her space to explore both in his Harp Barn. Ellie ultimately introduced Dan to something he never could have fathomed.

I really don't want to say more about this book, because it is one of those kinds of books that needs to be read to appreciate it. You will root for Dan and Ellie. You will actually fall in love with Dan! He is a really unique and special character. I highly recommend you get this book and get to know him.

This was the 216th book I read in 2018. It became one of my top 10 favorite books read in 2018 with ease! This is a debut book by this author and I look forward to reading more of her work.

Thank you NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Story alternates between Ellie, a bored housewife and Dan, a quiet/sensitive guy who lives by himself making harps by hand and lives in the woods amidst nature. Ellie is very insecure (like a lot of women) and she allows her arrogant husband to run her life. But she yearns for more and that’s what is at the heart of this tale. Stepping away from a life that isn’t what you really want and finding where your passion is. Friendships, families and secrets lead to a disturbing climax. I was nervous about the ending. It could have gone several ways but was satisfying. A very nice read!

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