It gives me great pleasure to kick off the blog tour for ‘Ellie and the Harp Maker’ by Hazel Prior. Hugest of thanks, as always, to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and of course thank you to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:
Meet Ellie. She’s perfectly happy with her home and her husband and her quiet life. Happy enough, anyway. Which is why she’s so surprised to find herself drawn to an extraordinary stranger who gives her a gift – and a fresh perspective.
Meet Dan. He thinks all he needs to be happy is the time and space to carry on making harps. Sometimes people buy them, too. But the last thing he expects is for Ellie to walk into his life, a whirlwind with cherry-coloured socks, bringing a string of surprises into his ordered existence.
As Ellie and Dan get to know one another, they begin to see the world – and themselves – in an entirely new way…
What does TWG think?
If I was required to sum up this book in one word, the word that springs to mind would be ‘majestic’. ‘Ellie and the Harp Maker’ isn’t the type of storyline that can be rushed. It needs to have, in my opinion, quality time spent reading it, as well as quality time spent reading between the lines to appreciate the beauty of this particular storyline.
At times I felt as though this book was too far down the literary novel route for my liking, only because I thought that it all seemed a bit heavy and intricate for my little mind to understand. My issue, I’m common after all. However, the beauty of Ellie’s and Dan’s friendship blew me away, and blew those thoughts out of my mind before they got too comfortable.
I have seen a harp, but never in a million years did I know the intricacy which went into making the delicate instrument. I do now though, and wow, I was certainly impressed. I’ve always thought of the harp to be an understated instrument. I can’t play it, in fact, I can’t play many instruments except the triangle, but I really did enjoy being able to lose myself in Ellie’s character as she made the choice to put her fingers to the strings in order to learn how to play. Envious? A little. I won’t lie!
Dan is a man who likes things a certain way. He has a heart of gold and a life which requires organisation and concentration so, when Ellie appears in his life, her colourful burst of personality was a bit of a shock to the system for him. One that would both be a blessing as well as a curse.
Both of the main characters, I thought, had such addictive personalities and were written in a very delicate and well crafted manner. Even though they both wore their hearts on their sleeves throughout the book, I really don’t think that readers get to see all of who they truly are. A clever move from the author as readers get to use their imagination to forge where, in their minds, the characters end up after the book has finished.
Overall, ‘Ellie and the Harp Maker’ was a very in-depth, majestic, poignant novel which was written soulfully, and tenderly. I enjoyed it, I really did.