Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine” as Want to Read:
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Trail of the Lonesome Pine

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  185 ratings  ·  33 reviews
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 John Wright, the sheriff of Wise County, Virginia. The outside world and industrialization, however, are be ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1908)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 471)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
It's interesting how many people use the term "Western" to describe this novel set around the Virginia/Kentucky border at the turn of the 20th century. Maybe it's just that the title sounds like the title of a Western. (And the book does have some plot elements in common with westerns, too; namely, the struggle to impose the rule of law in a lawless, violent place.)

The book interweaves 3 elements:

1) A Pygmalion-style love story. A young engineer, Jack Hale, while scouting the mountains of the Cu
Samantha Shepherd
Jan 20, 2008 Samantha Shepherd rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Appalachian fiction
Recommended to Samantha by: college
Shelves: very-good-books
This was part of my Appalachian Lit class in college. John Fox, Jr, who was business man from Lexington, KY, really did come to the mountains of Southeastern KY and Southwestern, VA in the early days (around 1900?) to help settle the territory. He came seeking to buy coal and timber for cheap from the people who had lived there, largely uneducated and unchanged, since Daniel Boone's days. This guy is supposed to be the enemy. He came to take advantage and force "normal" life on my (and probably ...more
I love Appalachian fiction. My grandmother recommended this book to me. She read it in grade school and she said it would help me to know what it was like when she was growing up. I loved it. I loved reading about the way of life in the mountains back then. I found it interesting that once June left it changed her and she could never really go back again and be completely happy. A common theme in novels, she was now stuck between worlds. I often think my own grandmother felt this way once she le ...more
Dan Chance
This is perhaps a product of its time in that the action and the plot begin very unobtrusively. You meet the characters as though glimpsed through the trees of the Appalachian forest. It is hard to believe the isolation of small homesteads or even townships in the mountains. While Einstein was proving the theory of relativity, the Hatfields were killing the McCoys over some slight or imagined slight. The nation makes mistakes and moves on, regions once prosperous die and people move out. Some of ...more
Jun 28, 2008 Tom rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those how enjoy reading for pleasure
Recommended to Tom by: My Sister Mary Ann
My motivation for reading this book comes from my grandfather. He was reading "Lonesome Pine" when my mother was born. He named his daughter after the main character in this book. What an insight into my grandfather!
Intrigue, venture, descriptive, Love, fueding, fighting and fussing, Keeps you "on your seat." Old Kentucky/Virginia towns are dipicted as they were. Boom and Bust. John Hale found, making the world his own and alone was impossible. "It is hard for a hungry man to feed imslef with
I liked this book although some of the passages about coal and iron ore get a bit long (think MOBY-DICK). But the love story is beautiful and the Fox's writing is spot on in his descriptions of the mountains and his dialect writing.

Any fan of Appalachian literature or resident of the Appalachian Mountain area should read this. I hope to see the outdoor drama next summer to refresh my memory of it.
This book and his "Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come" are two of my all-time favorite stories. Fox is buried in the same Paris, KY cemetery where my brother-in-law, Al Proctor is buried.
I loved this book. Set in Appalachia (Virginia/Kentucky) in the late 1800s, John Hale, a geologist, is interested in securing coal claims to develop the Cumberland Gap area. On one of his forays, he meets June Tolliver, a backwards country girl (just a child) who captivates him. She is equally intrigued with Hale. Their platonic relationship develops over time; he helps her to gain an education and shed her hillbilly ways - and even gain the acclaim of Eastern society. This is a story of develop ...more
This Cinderalla / Romeo & Juliet epic, set in Appalachia at the turn of the last century, is more than a winter/summer love story but is a love story of place as well. It is an exploration of human nature, the impact of environment on conduct, the power of education over ignorance, and even the dawn of the 'rule of law'.

I read this edition while summering at my grandfather's place so many years ago that there was really not much else to do than read and this was at hand. As a teenager I cou
Melody Michelle
I really enjoyed reading this book for a number of reasons. First, I've been reading books with magical elements lately and I was in the mood to read something more 'realistic'. This book fit that mood. Secondly, I enjoyed Fox's style of writing because it isn't quite polished. There are moments in which I found myself wanting better transitions, or more in-depth explanations. For some strange reason it was delightful to read something that didn't scream: "I'm written perfectly"! Lastly, I'm a b ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of the lives of the people of the Kentucky mountains and the way that their lives changed as 'furriners' bring their own notions of law and order and civilisation into the area in the hunt for coal and iron ore. The book was a top seller in 1908 and 1909 and it's easy to see why: Fox's writing is descriptive without being verbose and his tale of warring clans in the mountains is easy to believe. I was a little disappointed with the way Dave's part of the story turn ...more
I read this because of all the references to it in "Gilead". It was pretty educational about the Appalachian area and actually got me to thinking about their dialect. Something in the book made me think Scottish, and sure enough when I looked into it many of their expressions are centuries old Scottish. They were just so isolated that they didn't change with the rest of the world.
Such a pretty book and a great study into the development of that area with their family feuds (once again an influe
Mae Arink
Jun 26, 2014 Mae Arink marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Read by the characters in Marilynne Robinson's Gilead
Yes, by today's standards it is creepy to have an older man fall in love with someone he refers to as a little girl, but this is a classic romance of old. Set in the mountains fo Virginia and kentucky, it is not a predictable Disney-style story, so happy endings come hard and harsh tragedy abounds. By the way, feel free to watch the 1936 film of the same name starring Fred MacMurray and Sylvia Sydney. It won't ruin the book at all for you. Although it's based on the book, there are few similarit ...more
So, I thought this book was supposed to be a western...and in a sense it was, but it takes place in the Appalachian Mountains (a very different "west" than I expected). The cowboy's role is replaced by hicks with moonshine stills and very bad grammar. The hero remains that quiet honorable law-abiding man who defends mistreated women/girls, but he doesn't drive cattle or roam the sage flats instead he is a geologist/engineer looking for unclaimed coal mines. Interesting read, but nowhere as good ...more
Audiobook......A sweet love story and some interesting historical fiction....This novel is set in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, and chronicles the transition of mountain dwellers from a time of little to no contact with the world at large to a time when the search for coal, the expansion of the rail system, and the influx of speculators changed everything. Family feuds and a sweet love story make it enjoyable as a story, and the history is informative, if not surprising.
A little bit weird having the businessman fall in love with a young girl, but at least he waited until she grew up to reveal it to her. Interesting to see how she became more and more urban, as he paid for her New York City education, and for him to become more and more backwoodsman as he lived and worked around his mining interests. Loved all the scenic mountain descriptions. It was good to learn about the day to day life of these simple, hard-working people.
I just love this sappy old Western Romance novel-how weird
is that. It's just so homey and straight forward and they
have dialect and it's a Cinderella story out West with
villians and feuds and all kinds of stuff. It was mentioned
in the book The Devil Amongst the Lawyers and I was curious,
so I loaded it on my Nook and just loved it.
This was a really good book. I choose it as it was the summer production in the Adrianna Trigiani series.
My favorite of John Fox Jr. books. The writing is a shock when used to the graphic situations and language in modern novels. A sweet story of another time and place. I've been to the trail and it's a beautiful place. The book is difficult to read if you have not heard the sound of this Appalachian accent.
Jay Pope
The definitive Appalachian novel, written in a heavily stylized way characteristic of novels of the era. Enormously popular in its time, but understandably declining in popularity, given its dated feel.
A classic title with a classic name begging to be read - The Trail of the Lonesome Pine. Mountains, love, romance, duty, acting like decent people - what's not to love.
I read this book in the first edition in 1947 while in grade school and have read it again recently. Wonderful novel about mountain people.
Jennifer Akers
Nice story set in the Appalachian mountains at the turn of the 20th century. If you have interest in that corner of the world, it's a must-read.
Years ahead of its time in terms of Appalachians and their relationships with big business. Loved it all the way up until the very end.
Teresa Beach-shelow
This is my favorite book! My family is from this area. I own a business and I have loved....great themes
Fairly good regional read with lots of accented woodsman speak.
My absolute all-time favorite book! Have read it at least 10 times.
Another one of my Mom's favorite that we now share.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 15 16 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Thread that Runs so True
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 5
  • Clay's Quilt
  • River of Earth
  • Coal River
  • Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness Radical Strip Mining andthe Devastation ofAppalachia
  • The Kentuckians
  • The Grandissimes: A Story of Creole Life
  • Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope
  • The Moneychangers
  • Toward a True Kinship of Faiths: How the World's Religions Can Come Together
  • The Tale of Ginger and Pickles
  • A Quaker Book of Wisdom: Life Lessons In Simplicity, Service, And Common Sense
  • Feather Crowns
  • Men of Maize
  • Joshua and the Children
  • The United States of Appalachia: How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture, and Enlightenment to America
  • Far Appalachia: Following the New River North
John Fox Jr. (1862-1919), American author wrote the Civil-War based The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come (1903).

John William Fox was born on 16 December 1862 in Stony Point, the heart of Bluegrass country in Bourbon County, Kentucky. The prominent Fox family was large and close knit; John had four full brothers and two sisters, and three half-brothers from his father's first wife who had died in ch
More about John Fox Jr....
The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come A Knight of the Cumberland The Heart of the Hills Mountain Europa Christmas Eve On Lonesome

Share This Book

“There were tiny drops along the roots of her shining hair for the climb had been steep and now the shadow of disappointment darkened her eyes.” 1 likes
More quotes…