Ellie and the Harpmaker: A Novel. Hazel Prior. Penguin Publishing Group. August, 2019; pb, 336 pp.; ISBN #: 9781984803788.
Ellie on a wandering walk in the Exmoor country finds a Harpmaker Barn owned by Dan who creates Celtic harps that produce gorgeous music. The story is narrated from the points of view of Ellie and Dan. Dan is a sensitive soul who loves nature, the rocky pebbles that he uniquely places at the bottom of each harp he builds, and culture that is in touch with beauty.
Ellie is married to Clive, a man who enjoys his work, football and food. He loves Ellie but has no place in him for the loneliness she feels and her craving for expressing the beauty in the world she perceives. However, all that is about to change as she meets Dan, receives a harp he has made and begins to take lessons which she loves. But Ellie’s curiosity leads her into trouble as she perceives something in Dan’s life that he needs to know. That in turn sets off Ellie’s conflict with Clive, who believes Ellie has been unfaithful to him. Clive makes no accusations but stays cold and distant.
Meanwhile Dan is making friends with someone very close to him and a new life is beginning. It is only when Ellie tells him that Clive has thrown her out that their future together becomes a happy, fulfilling reality. Ellie now has the opportunity to become who she really is, allowing her inner world to blend with her Exmoor reality – a dream come true!
This is a lovely story of two people who must overcome who they are not to venture into a new possibility. The conflicts are sad but develop as they must. Some changes are painfully necessary for dreams to come true! Delightful romantic, contemporary fiction!!!