Chapter 30 Summary

Mrs. Chester’s fair is a major event. Because Amy is so well-liked and artistic, she is placed in charge of the art table, which is the most important part of the event. Many girls have contributed their artwork to be sold, and Amy has worked hard to create a beautiful display. Unfortunately, the fashionable and frivolous May Chester is angry with Amy, and she convinces her mother to help her get revenge. The day before the fair, Mrs. Chester declares that May will take over the art table. Amy is sent to take charge of the flower table, which is much less important.

Amy is humiliated by this turn of affairs but decides to do everything Mrs. Chester asks her to do. As she sees it, the Chesters are more likely to regret their rudeness if she gives them no reason to feel that it is justified. Amy’s art pieces are better than anyone else’s; after a little internal struggle, she allows them to remain on the art table, where their successful sale will bring honor to May. Meanwhile, Amy spends the first few hours of the fair sitting unnoticed at the flower table, which lacks the social prominence of the art table.

Partway through the event, Laurie and his friends arrive at the March house for a visit. When Laurie hears the story, he sends Amy the best flowers from the Laurence gardens. Afterward, he takes his friends to the fair, where they all crowd around Amy’s table, showing her a good time and buying all of her flowers. Amy, who wants to remain gracious, insists that they also visit the art table and buy up the goods May is selling.

Aunt March and Aunt Carrol attend the fair and hear about Amy’s behavior. Both seem pleased, and soon afterward Mrs. March receives a letter. Aunt Carrol is going abroad with her husband and daughter, and she would like Amy to join them. When Jo hears the news, she is devastated. All her life, she has dreamed of seeing Europe. At first Jo thinks her family is unfairly favoring her sister. However, the letter specifically states that Jo is not invited because “favors burden her” and she “hates French.” Jo curses herself for speaking rashly on her recent visit with her aunts. She pretends to be happy for Amy’s sake, but as soon as she can get away alone, she weeps.