First published in 1907, “The Shepherd of the Hills” is Harold Bell Wright’s mostly fictional tale of people living in the foothills of the Ozarks. The story is principally concerned with the relationship of Grant Matthews, Sr., affectionately known in his community as “Old Matt”, and “The Shepherd of the Hills”, a wise old man who has chosen the peace of the backwoods over the hustle and bustle of the city. The Shepherd is a quiet and mysterious character who is trying to recover from a tragic and troubled past. While his reclusiveness has left him largely isolated from others in the settlement, he earns the love and trust of the Matthews clan, which is one of the most respected families in the community. Set against The Shepherd’s story is also the touching and romantic love affair between the pretty young Samantha Lane and Grant “Young Matt” Matthews, Jr. “The Shepherd of the Hills” has become an enduring and often adapted classic of American literature. It is beloved for its portrayal of the life and death concerns of ordinary people and for its commentary on human weaknesses, the strength of community, and the redemptive power of forgiveness and kindness.
Author: Harold Bell Wright