First published in 1913, The Heart of the Hills is the last novel completed by John Fox Jr. and the final piece in his mountain trilogy. This companion to The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine is crucial to an understanding of Fox's views.
This is a story of Kentucky, in a settlement known as Kingdom Come. It is a life rude, semi-barbarous; but natural and honest, from which often springs the flower of civilization.Chad, the little shepherd did not know who he was nor whence he came he had just wandered from door to door since early childhood, seeking shelter with kindly mountaineers who gladly fathered and mothered this waif about whom there was such a mystery a charming waif, by the way, who could play the banjo better that anyone else in the mountains.
Set in the Appalachian Mountains at the turn of the twentieth century, a feud has been boiling for over thirty years between two influential mountain families: the Tollivers and the Falins. The character Devil Judd Tolliver, in the novel was based on the real life of Devil John Wesley Wright, a United States Marshal for the region in and around Wise County, Virginia, and Letcher County, Kentucky. The outside world and industrialization, however, are beginning to enter the area. Coal mining begins to exert its influence on the area, despite the two families feuds