TV & Movies

Get Your Eyes Across The Best Book-To-Screen Adaptations On Netflix

By Bridget O'Donohue
22nd May 2020

Normal People—you’ve read the book, watched the show, followed all the Instagram accounts and you’re one step away from rocking a silver neck chain. You’re asking yourself what can possibly fill the void that Marianne and Connell left in your life. Fortunately, there’s a stack of book adaptations floating around on Netflix, and we’ve found some of the best for you to get absorbed in. 

The Fundamentals Of Caring

For your off-beat drama fix, The Fundamentals of Caring is the quirky, indie film to fill that rainy Sunday afternoon. An adaptation of Jonathan Evison’s The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, it follows retired writer Ben (Paul Rudd), a caregiver to the highly sarcastic Trevor (Craig Roberts) who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. For all the good feels, join the pair as they hit the road in a series of misadventures that sees them become unlikely friends. 


For a series where the scenery is as dark and stormy as the plot, engross yourself in Shetland. Based on the series by Anne Cleves (writer of Vera), the crime drama follows the affable Inspector Jimmy Perez as he investigates homicides on his tiny island home off the coast of Scotland. As an added bonus, it does a bang-up job of filling the emotional gap that series like Luther, Broadchurch and Line of Duty has left behind. 

The Stranger 

Clear your schedule because once you go down this chilling rabbit hole you won’t be stopping at just one episode. This British thriller is a snappy series based on The Stranger by Harlan Coben. The story kicks off with a cryptic message from a stranger in a baseball cap to the main man Adam Price, whose wife goes missing shortly after. It just gets freakier from here and will have you furtively stroking your metaphorical beard as you attempt to crack the case before DS Johanna Griffin. 

Alias Grace

Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale may be surprised to find that it was not the only one of Margaret Atwood’s books to be adapted for the screen. Enter Alias Grace, the Canadian mini-series directed by Mary Harron. In true Atwood style, the true-crime drama explores misogyny and subjugation of women through the lens of Grace Marks, a young servant in 19th century Canada found guilty of murder. 


Unorthodox is the trending miniseries on everyone’s watchlist, adapted from the memoir by Deborah Fieldman. Fieldman was raised in the Satmar sect of Williamsburg, a strict Hasidic Jewish community of New York from which she flees after entering an arranged marriage. Created for Netflix by Anna Winger, the drama is a nerve-wracking take on rebellion and freedom from start to finish. 

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

First screened at Sundance in 2019, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a tender reworking of the memoir of the same name by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. Set in the impoverished village of Wimbe, Malawi, a young William Kamkwamba works to build a windmill to save his family and village from drought and famine. Store this one for when you need a good serve of warm fuzzy feelings. 


If you obsessed over Normal People for its directorial artistry, we guarantee you’ll be a fan of Room. The indie drama is based on Emma Donoghue’s 2010 novel and brought to life on screen by Lenny Abrahamson, who co-directed Normal People. Brie Larson plays a traumatised young woman who escapes years of captivity with her son, who goes on to experience the outside world for the first time as a young boy. 

Gone Girl 

The original exploration of the farce of the cool girl, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl works brilliantly as a screenplay. The psychological thriller explores marriage from the very different perspectives of Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Rosamund Pike) when Amy goes missing and Nick becomes the main suspect. You won’t know who to believe as flashbacks take you deeper into their relationship and the truth struggles to come out. 

Check out everything else to get around in our Entertainment section. 

Image credit: Andrea Calderwood, Gail Egan & Rob Burnett |Netflix

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