FICTION

Ellie and the Harpmaker

Berkley. Aug. 2019. 336p. ISBN 9781984803788. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781984803795. F
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DEBUT When unhappy housewife Ellie comes across a barn near her home in Exmoor, England, she is surprised to find it full of harps. She meets Dan, the harp maker, and that will change both their lives forever. Dan is devoted to harps and harp making above all else, although nature comes in a close second for him. When he learns of Ellie’s desire to play the harp, he regularly gives her one of his creations. Soon Ellie is visiting the harp barn to play. As her playing improves, she and Dan grow closer. The only hitch is Ellie’s overbearing and borderline psychotic husband, Clive, from whom Ellie is concealing her harp playing. It’s only a matter of time before Clive discovers Ellie’s secret, and then there’s no telling how bad the damage will be and what relationships, if any, will survive.
VERDICT With the air of a fairy tale, this debut novel by a professional harpist transcends its contemporary setting and feels timeless. For fans of quirky romance à la Helen Hoang.

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