In Anne Tyler's novel French Braid, a third person narrator tells the story of the Garrett family. In the summer of 1959, Mercy and Robin Garrett take their three children, Alice, Lily, and David, on a family vacation for the first time. Although the trip is meant to bring them together, it ultimately succeeds in amplifying preexisting conflicts and introducing new battles between the family members. Over the decades that follow, tensions from the lake trip haunt the members of the Garrett family. The novel explores themes including, family, marriage, love, and the past.