Everything you need to understand or teach Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler.
This novel tells the story of middle-aged Rebecca, suddenly discontented with her life after several years of managing a large, dysfunctional family and its business operations. As she attempts to build a new present on the foundations of an abandoned past, Rebecca discovers the value of the present moment and begins to enjoy and celebrate it.
The narrative begins with a description of a family picnic, organized by Rebecca (despite the resentment of her quirky, troubled family) to mark the engagement of her stepdaughter NoNo to a businessman named Barry. Barry's sullen teenage son Peter tries to escape, but Rebecca's attempts to bring him back into the fold end with Peter falling into a nearby river. As the members of the family (some irritated, some genuinely concerned) join forces to bring her and Peter back to the party, Rebecca realizes that her life has become something she never planned... View more of the Back When We Were Grownups: A Novel Summary