A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Monday, July 20, 2020

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior- Feature and Review


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 more easily than usual. She says her name’s Ellie, a housewife, alone, out on her daily walk and, though she doesn’t say this, she looks sad. He wants to make her feel better, so he gives her one of his harps, made of cherry wood.

And before they know it, this simple act of kindness puts them on the path to friendship, big secrets, pet pheasants and, most importantly, true love.



Ellie and the HarpmakerEllie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior is a 2019 Bantam Press publication.

Dan, is a Harpmaker who spontaneously gives one of his harps to Ellie, a woman visiting his little out of the way shop one day.

Ellie’s husband, however, insists she return the harp. Instead, she winds up storing it at Dan’s place, scheming behind her husband’s back to visit the harp regularly, secretly learning how to play it. While Ellie and Dan begin developing a friendship, Ellie discovers a shocking secret that will change Dan’s life forever.

Meanwhile, Ellie struggles to convince herself she loves her husband that she is happy in her marriage, all while walking on eggshells around him, hiding her relationship with Dan and her harp lessons from him. But, sooner or later everything comes into the light putting Ellie and Dan’s friendship in jeopardy.

While this is mostly a light, charming tale, it is also one of those stories in which the presentation prevents serious subjects from becoming too heavy, insulating the darker topics behind a whimsical veneer. However, these topics never dig too far beneath the surface, giving the story just the right amount of depth, allowing it to balance the dark undertones and the lighter overtones.

Dan's big, open heart made me want to reach through the pages and hug him. It was easy to see why Ellie was drawn to him.

This is a cute, offbeat romance, a feel good story that is warm and touching, with a sweet ending that will leave you with a smile on your face. Everyone needs a story like this one from to time to take the edge off life’s trials for a while.

Overall, quick, easy, and very enjoyable!






Hazel Prior is the author of ELLIE AND THE HARP MAKER and 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.

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