This is the story of two brothers Adam and Seth Bede but really more about the former than the latter.
Adam and Seth Bede are both carpenters and Adam is a true master of his trade and can turn his hand to anything. He is loved by all for his honesty, lack of guile and for his hard work.
Adam falls in love with an empty headed but pretty young girl called Hetty who is the niece of a local Farmer. She however has fallen in love with the grandson of the local Squire. Things take their course and eventually Adam catches them together and forces Arthur the young Squire to give her up, which he does but it is too late for poor Hetty. She eventually accepts Adam's hand in marriage but days before they are to be married she disappears. I won't say too much here because it would be a spoiler.
Also in their lives is a young Methodist preacher by the name of Dinah. Seth is in love with her but his love is not reciprocated so he settles for her just being his friend.
There is a lot of the 'vernacular' used in the book particularly by Seth and Adam's Mother which is a bit difficult to work out but persist dear reader and you will work it out.
This is George Eliot's first book and is every bit as good as 'her' later works if not better in some cases.
Really it is a story of unrequited love, death, dishonour and a young girl who has had her head turned to her ultimate destruction.