Category Archives: Hazel Prior
Ellie and the Harp Maker by Hazel Prior
Meet Ellie. She’s perfectly happy living her quiet life with her husband, Clive. Happy to wander the Exmoor countryside and write the occasional poem that nobody will read; happy to dream of all the things she hasn’t yet managed to do. Or is she?
Meet Dan. He thinks all he needs is the time and space to make harps in his isolated barn on Exmoor. He enjoys being on his own, far away from other people and – crucially – far away from any risk of surprises.
What Ellie and Dan don’t know yet, is that a chance encounter is about to change all of this.
It was such a real pleasure to have read Ellie and the Harp Maker by Hazel Prior (Bantam Press) a beautiful novel set on Exmoor. And yes there is a Pheasant that does appear in the storyline. I have always held a fascination for the Harp and have come to appreciate the music.
Ellie is happily married to Clive and is almost content with the life they live, until one day when she is out waking she comes across a barn in the middle of nowhere and when she enters Ellie is immediately captivated. Here she meets Dan and the handmade harps he crafts from wood. The thing about Dan is that he is not making a business out of what he does as this is purely for love from the woods around the workshop.
It becomes apparent almost immediately that there is something special between Ellie and Dan. Their love of the countryside, poetry, nature and music. Ellie is just delightful. Often wandering the country lanes reciting poetry she has written. She comes across as someone who is a bit of a loner and so when she meets Dan and is beguiled by his craftsmanship. It is then that Ellie tells Dan that she wants to play the harp.
The story is told by both Ellie and Dan and you begin to read each other’s thoughts and when Dan gives Ellie one of his beautiful Harps this causes problems at home for Ellie. Hazel Prior has crafted such a warm and charming story that you just wanted to spend time with both Ellie and Dan who is just a little different from most people and sees the world through different eyes.
Wonderful characters and the setting of Exmoor is very descriptive. And yes Phineas the Pheasant does a play and integral part in the story of Ellie and Dan but I am not going to spoil the story for you. A novel to make you smile and lift your heart.
Ellie and the Harp Maker by Hazel Prior was published by Bantam Press and was published on 2nd May 2019 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.