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Apples Never Fall: 8 Big Differences Between The Book And The Peacock Series Adaptation

 Jake Lacy, Alison Brie, Conor Merrigan Turner, and Essie Randles in Apples Never Fall.
Jake Lacy, Alison Brie, Conor Merrigan Turner, and Essie Randles in Apples Never Fall.

Apples Never Fall was a highly anticipated upcoming book adaptation. It tells the story of a once glorious tennis family, the Delaneys. Peacock's Apples Never Fall and Liane Moriarty’s book of the same name show how their secrets haunt them. They divide the family but also bring them back together. Moriarty’s book and Peacock’s series share the same premise and characters. However, the TV show strays quite a bit from the source material.

Apples Never Fall TV show and book have many differences, including characters, reveals, and even the tone. Because of their many differences, I  focused on the important, major changes.

Warning: Apples Never Fall TV show and book spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution.

Sam Neill, Essie Randles, Alison Brie, and Dylan Thuraisingham
Sam Neill, Essie Randles, Alison Brie, and Dylan Thuraisingham

The Delaney Family Lives In A Different Location In The Apples Never Fall Book

The Apples Never Fall book takes place in Australia. The Delaney family also looks a lot different in the book than in the show. Moriarty writes often about the tallness of Stan and the Delaney siblings. It is one of their distinct genetic features.

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The Florida setting matches the vibe of the Peacock TV series as the Sydney setting fits the book.

Essie Randles and Georgia Flood in Apples Never Fall
Essie Randles and Georgia Flood in Apples Never Fall

The Romantic Entanglements Are Different In The Show

The Delaney siblings have complicated romantic relationships in the book and the series. However, there are some major differences in these romances. In the book, Indira leaves Logan (Conor Merrigan Turner) because she’s bored with their life and he isn't fully committed. It has nothing to do with moving away, as it does in the show. Brooke is not gay in the book (at least not to our knowledge). She has an ex-husband who leaves her. In the show, Brooke (Essie Randles) is engaged to a woman, Gina (Paula Andrea Placido). Troy and Amy’s show romances are the ones most similar to their book romantic storylines. In the book, Amy doesn’t initially decide to date Simon. They kind of fall into a relationship and love.

Troy (Jake Lacy) does not have an affair with his boss’s wife in the book. He’s also divorced from Claire before the book starts. She’s remarried to an American. However, the frozen embryos storyline happens in both versions. Troy also cheated on his ex-wife in the book and TV show.

Speaking of infidelities, the TV show seems obsessed with it. The cheating isn't as excessive in the book. Troy cheats on his ex-wife but that’s about it. In the show, Joy (Annette Bening) had a full-blown affair. In the book, it’s one kiss at a party. The book makes light of it as something that just kind of happened in the '70s. Brooke does not have an affair with Savannah (Georgia Flood) in the book. She also never cheats on any of her partners in the book.

Alison Brie as Amy in Apples Never Fall
Alison Brie as Amy in Apples Never Fall

Amy’s Suicide Attempt Plays Out Differently In The Book

In the Apples Never Fall book, everyone knows that Amy once wrote a suicide note. It happened when she was a child, and it is why the family treats her like she’s fragile. The TV show treats the suicide note moment as a surprise to the family about Amy's (Alison Brie) depression and suicidal thoughts. The show treats the reveal of the incident like a major moment, but the book mentions it casually.

Neither dig deeply into the struggles of depression, nor offer some insight into mental health problems, but the book does continuously address Amy’s mental health. It helps readers understand her as a person whose behavior results from her mental health struggles.

Jake Lacy and Sam Neill in Apples Never Fall
Jake Lacy and Sam Neill in Apples Never Fall

Troy’s Relationship With His Father Is More Volatile In The Apples Never Fall TV Series

It feels like Troy hates his father in the Apples Never Fall TV show. They have one of the worst on-screen father-and-son relationships. In the book, Troy and Stan have the most hostile relationship in the family, but you still see signs that they love each other. In the show, it also feels like Troy wants his father convicted of killing his mother. In the book, he’s more conflicted about it throughout. The book also doesn’t have a scene with Stan (Sam Neill) hitting Troy. The book emphasizes that Stan has made it his mission to not act violently like his father.

The end of the Apples Never Fall TV show makes this message clear. However, it also kind of contradicts his goal by having him hit Troy. He also doesn’t seem remorseful enough about it as you’d expect someone working hard to avoid violence.

Georgia Flood in Apples Never Fall
Georgia Flood in Apples Never Fall

Savannah’s Revenge Is Different In The Book

Savannah infiltrates the family in Apples Never Fall for revenge purposes. However, she feels generally and directly scorned by each one of them. She lists things they did to her, like Joy yelling at her as a child and having a racket thrown her way. In the show, she generally blames the family for her parents' divorce and her suffering because of it. In the book, her parents' obsession over Harry’s career because of the Delaney family is a part of her desire for revenge, but she finds specific reasons for her anger at the entire Delaney family.

Some of her actions for revenge happen differently in the book.  Instead of the Brooke and Savannah affair, Savannah tries to make Stan look bad by doing things to put him in a compromising position. She then accuses him of inappropriate behavior towards her. The show somewhat follows this storyline.

However, in the book, Savannah blackmails Troy by saying she will report Stan’s behavior. In the show, she threatens to expose Troy’s affair with his boss’s wife. Savannah also reveals her identity a lot sooner in the book. When the family gets into their big fight that reveals Joy is the reason Harry left the club, Savannah is the one to reveal this detail.

Joy doesn’t confess. After revealing that she’s Harry’s little sister, Savannah tells them about Joy’s betrayal.

Annette Bening in Apples Never Fall
Annette Bening in Apples Never Fall

The Show Is More Dramatic Than The Book

I found Apples Never Fall quite witty and funny while reading it. It has a lot of humor, especially as a potential murder mystery book. The show has some funny moments but it takes a different approach to the story. The book leans more into comedy with some drama. Whereas, the show leans into drama with some comedy. The show takes notes from dramatic and awesome whodunnit shows. 

The book and TV series offer an interesting view of what can happen when the same story takes different tonal approaches.

Sam Neill as Stan Delaney in Apples Never Fall
Sam Neill as Stan Delaney in Apples Never Fall

Stan Only Has A Podcast In The Show

This is a small change but I believe it showcases the differences between the book character and the show character. The book character isn’t really a big technology person. He doesn’t get a cellphone until the end of the book. CCTV reveals Joy and Stan’s major fight in the book. The show uses the podcast recording of it. Therefore, I think Stan’s podcast dreams may have been added just to help with this major reveal.

Annette Bening in Apples Never Fall
Annette Bening in Apples Never Fall

Apples Never Fall Changes Savannah’s Backstory And Trip With Joy

In the Apples Never Fall book, Savannah has an eating disorder that her mother instigated to make her as good as Harry, but with ballet. Harry and Savannah have had no interaction for years.

But, she learns through his manuscript that their father manipulated him to play tennis. He thought Savannah had cancer and needed to win so they could afford her treatment. This revelation sparks her desire to improve their relationship. Harry’s daughter has cancer so he has a charity event that includes going off grid.

The book portrays Savannah as someone broken with psychotic tendencies. The show portrays her in a more psychotic manner. The ending of Apples Never Fall definitely shows she has some of that behavior (she gets revenge on her abusive mother), but the book makes her more sympathetic.

In the book, Joy willingly goes with Savannah and knows everything about her when she joins her on this retreat for Harry. However, Joy doesn’t leave without a trace. She leaves a note on the fridge. It falls off and the dog eats it. Then she texts her children but does so without making sure it makes sense.

It’s not a last-minute decision but carefully planned with a series of comedic errors that turn it into a murder investigation.

Apples Never Fall is not the best new Peacock original show but it's the best one to watch right now. It offers an interesting look at a family and all their secrets.

Stream Apples Never Fall on Peacock.
Buy the Apples Never Fall book on Amazon.