On a visit to town young David Faux sees a high class confectioner’s shop. It leads him to believe that confectioners must be the happiest and most popular of tradesmen, and so when it comes to the time for him to take up a trade he becomes a confectioner. But when David finds that the reality of life as a confectioner has more work and less status than he imagined, he decides that his future lies elsewhere. Some years later and some miles away a new confectioner’s shop opens. The proprietor, Edward Freely, establishes himself in society and is clearly set to make a great match with the local squire’s daughter. Despite being one of her lesser known novels, Brother Jacob provides a lighter introduction to George Eliot.