Memory Keeper's Daughter

A Book By Kim Edwards & A Movie By Mick Jackson


  • IN THE BOOK: Norah's friends try and keep her mind off losing Phoebe by preventing her from talking about Phoebe and telling her to be contempt with Paul. IN THE MOVIE: Norah's friends aren't nearly as supportive, understanding, or prominent. The novel illustrates friends as being a good support system for when tragedy strikes but the film shows Norah's friends to be inconsiderate and selfish women more concerned with gossip.
  • IN THE BOOK: David has flashbacks to his childhood of having to catch snakes in order to pay his way through high school. IN THE MOVIE: The only flashback David experiences is his sister's death and his devastated mother. This haunting scene is shown multiple times throughout the film to highlight how scared David is of what could happen to Phoebe. Even though he is not directly in charge of caring for her, he still cares about her health and well-being.
  • IN THE BOOK: Norah has a drunk driving accident on their anniversary and gives David a camera as a present. IN THE MOVIE: Norah was never in an accident and she gives David the camera as a gift to document Paul's life. The novel relies on Norah's accident and alcohol as a main reason for the Henry's divorce. However, the film illustrates how an affair, such as the one that Norah has while David is away, is to blame for the end of most marriages.
  • IN THE BOOK: Caroline works for Dorothy March as a nurse to her elderly father. In return, she gets paid and is allowed to live with Phoebe in Dorothy's home. Al comes and visits them here regularly. IN THE MOVIE: Caroline, Phoebe, and Al all live together and Dorothy and her father are never part of the storyline. This difference makes Caroline seem more dependent on others to survive in the novel than she is in the film, where she is very determined and hardworking to get Phoebe equal schooling rights. Dorothy also serves as a saving force in the novel by providing Caroline with a place to work and live.
  • IN THE BOOK: Al proposes twice but Caroline turns him down. IN THE MOVIE: Al proposes once and Caroline enthusiastically accepts. Caroline seems more reluctantly and pessimistic about marriage in the novel but she is characterized to be very willing and enthusiastic to start a life and family with Al.
  • IN THE BOOK: Phoebe and Paul both experience an allergic reaction to bees. IN THE MOVIE: This allergy is never touched on. This connection in the novel shows how the separated twins are still linked somehow while the film makes it seem as though the two are completely unrelated people.
  • IN THE BOOK: David interacts with Rosemary, a pregnant teenager, and tells her about his past and asks her to move in with him. IN THE MOVIE: David doesn't date or marry anybody after separating from Norah. David is characterized to be more desperate and hopeful to start a new life in the book but he seems more secluded and contempt with being lonely in the movie.
  • IN THE BOOK: Caroline confronts Norah about Phoebe still being alive. IN THE MOVIE: Norah finds Caroline in order to meet Phoebe. This difference highlights how determined Norah is in the movie by setting out to locate Phoebe so that she and Paul can finally meet the daughter and sister they thought they lost. However, the novel shows how Caroline felt it was her noble duty to inform Caroline of what truly happened to Phoebe and that David had been lying to her this whole time.
  • IN THE BOOK: Caroline invites Phoebe to come live with her but Phoebe rejects the offer. IN THE MOVE: Caroline never asks Phoebe such a thing. Norah is more accepting of Caroline taking care of Phoebe in the film than she is in the novel. Norah almost seems a bit selfish when she wants Phoebe to drop her life in Pittsburg to come move in with her.