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The first chapter sets the exposition. Janie Crawford, the protagonist of the novel, returns home after being away for a very long time. The townsfolk, particularly the women, are unfriendly towards her.
I suppose another main event comes in chapter 5. Janie and Joe take the train from Maitland to Eatonville. When they arrive in Eatonville, both are disappointed with the town. Joe demands to talk to the mayor, but one of the men tells him that there is no mayor. Joe tells Coker that he thinks that the town is too small and that he will buy land from Captain Eaton.