Are you looking for a full synopsis of The Weekend Away by Sarah Alderson? Want to know the ending of The Weekend Away? Curious about how the book is different from the Netflix movie adaptation of The Weekend Away? Forget Wikipedia, this post has everything you need to know AND you can join our chat! Check out my Spoiler Discussion and Plot Summary for The Weekend Away
Table of Contents for the Spoiler Discussion and Plot Summary for The Weekend Away
List of Characters in The Weekend Away: Movie and Book – includes which characters’ names were changed from book to movie.
Plot Summary of The Weekend Away – a full synopsis of the events of the book
The Ending of The Weekend Away (book) Explained – how does the book end?
The Netflix Adaptation of the Weekend Away – who’s in the movie of The Weekend Away and how is it different from the book?
How Was The Ending of the Weekend Away Changed for the Netflix Movie? It’s a subtle change, but an interesting one!
Spoiler Discussion for The Weekend Away – What did you think of the book or the movie? Which did you like better? What are your questions?
Spoiler Discussion and Plot Summary for the Weekend Away
LIST OF CHARACTERS IN THE WEEKEND AWAY- BOOK AND MOVIE
Orla – a young mom who lives in London (Beth in the movie)
Kate – Orla’s former flatmate and close friend
Konstandin – a ride share driver who drives Orla and Kate on their first night out in Lisbon (Zain in the movie, and he’s changed from a refugee from Kosovo to one from Syria)
Rob– Orla’s husband and father of her baby, Marlow. (The baby is named Aster in the movie)
Nunes – male detective who takes Kate’s police report and hits on her. He is wrongfully blamed for Kate’s death. (Pavic in the movie)
Reza – female detective who saves Orla when Nunes is strangling her. (Kovac in the movie)
Sebastian – the owner of the Airbnb where Orla and Kate stay. He also lives in the building.
Joaquim and Emanuel – the escorts hired by Kate. (Matteo and Luca in the movie)
Toby – Kate’s ex-husband. (Jay in the movie)
PLOT SUMMARY OF THE WEEKEND AWAY
This full synopsis of The Weekend Away is of the book. The movie plot is almost identical with a few differences I will discuss here (below).
New mom Orla has left her baby daughter with her husband Rob while she flies from London to Lisbon to spend a long weekend with her close friend and former roommate, Kate.
Kate and Orla settle into their Airbnb and get dressed for dinner out. Kate takes a call from her ex-husband, Toby, and is left crying. After dinner, Kate suggests to Orla that they go to a local bar. Orla is exhausted but agrees. On the way to the bar, Orla is a little surprised that Kate does some coke. At the bar, they meet two attractive young guys and all drink a lot. Kate invites the guys back to their rental apartment.
Orla wakes up the next morning barely able to remember the night before. She also can’t find Kate. On the rug in Kate’s room, she finds broken glass and something that looks like blood. She calls Rob, her husband, to tell him that she’s worried about Kate but is afraid to mention the partying or the two guys. She also has a vague memory of fighting with Kate. The owner of the Airbnb where Orla and Kate are staying lives in a neighboring flat and tells Orla that the prior night he heard a loud argument in their flat. Orla goes to the police, who tell her she can’t file a report until Kate has been missing 24 hours. Orla can’t remember the name of the bar they went to, but she contacts their driver from last night, Konstandin. He offers to drive her to the bar, and through his questioning of the staff, they learn that the two men Orla and Kate partied with were paid escorts, presumably hired by Kate.
Konstandin tell Orla he’s from Kosovo and left during the war. He messages the male escorts and sets up a meeting. They confess to stealing Kate’s Hermes handbag and selling that and her iPhone but claim they didn’t kill her. Orla is able to get Kate’s phone back from a pawn shop but doesn’t know Kate’s passcode. She speaks to Toby, Kate’s ex, who says he hadn’t spoken to Kate in a while. So, who was Kate arguing with on the phone? Sebastian, the landlord, tells Orla that she has to leave the Airbnb as other guests are checking in to their flat, but offers to let her stay in his spare room. He finds the red stain on the carpet, which Orla tells him is wine.
Orla’s husband Rob arrives in Lisbon to support her. He and Orla discuss the weird landlord at the Airbnb, who says he has a “recording studio” in his apartment. The police call Orla and say they have found a body and want her to come to the station. Kate suffered a head injury and then seemed to have fallen into the Tagus River and drowned. Orla asks for a few moments alone with Kate’s body, then uses Kate’s finger to open her phone.
THE ENDING OF THE WEEKEND AWAY EXPLAINED
After opening Kate’s phone, Orla looks at Kate’s texts and voicemails and realizes that her husband Rob has been sleeping with Kate for years. Just prior to the trip, Rob begged Kate not to tell Orla about their affair. Orla is devastated but also realizes if she turns the phone in and the police find out about the affair, she will be the number one suspect in Kate’s murder.
After talking to the landlord about the fight he overheard the night of Kate’s death, the police seem suspicious of Orla and confiscate her passport. She decides to do more investigating on her own. Kate’s ex-husband Toby has an alibi, but Orla learns that her own husband Rob left their baby with a sitter and flew to Lisbon the night Kate died. Whoa – what was he doing there and why didn’t he tell her? Rob admits to the affair but denies having anything to do with Kate’s death.
The police tell Orla that Konstandin is affiliated with the Albanian mafia. They also know about Kate and Rob’s affair. Orla wonders how this is possible, and discovers that her landlord has been spying on all his tenants. His “recording room” is filled with monitors. When she threatens to tell the police, he shows her the footage from the night Kate died, which shows her chasing the escorts out of the apartment after she realizes they stole her Hermes bag.
Orla and Konstandin find a cab driver who says he took Kate to the police station, presumably to report the theft. Orla is arrested for Kate’s murder. She tells the police about the landlord’s spying and the fact that Kate was at the police station the night she was killed. Orla asks Nunes, one of the police officers, why he is hiding the fact that Kate was at the police station shortly before she died. Nunes says he only offered to drive Kate home from the station (as her phone and wallet had been stolen) and then hit on her. When Orla accuses him of killing Kate, he attacks her.
LAST MINUTE PLOT TWIST IN THE WEEKEND AWAY (BOOK)
Officer Nunes is arrested as Kate’s murderer and Orla is allowed to go back home to London. Orla and Rob are now separated. Orla meets Rob to hand over their daughter for his scheduled visitation. After she waves goodbye, she receives a video from Konstandin. It’s security footage he just obtained that shows Kate’s murder. On the grainy video, Kate is arguing with a man who hits her and then rolls her into the river. Konstandin thinks he’s sent Orla proof that Nunes is the murderer. But as Orla watches the footage a second time, she recognizes the man who killed Kate.
Rob was the one who killed Kate. And he’s just disappeared with their baby.
Was this the ending of the Netflix version of The Weekend Away? Maybe not! Keep reading, or you can skip to read about the major differences here!
NETFLIX ADAPTATION OF THE WEEKEND AWAY
The Weekend Away has been adapted for Netflix, and released March 3. Watch the trailer here!
The movie stars Leighton Meester (of Gossip Girl). Love her!
The location has been changed from Lisbon to Croatia.
Author Sarah Alderson suggests the ending will be changed!
The Weekend Away Book vs Movie: how Was The Weekend Away Changed for Netflix?
So the plot of The Weekend Away on Netflix was almost exactly the same as the book. Sarah Alderson is a novelist and screenwriter (she wrote the screenplay for the Netflix movie) so it makes sense to me that she didn’t need to change much.
A bunch of characters’ names were changed. Orla became Beth. Toby became Jay. Baby Marlow became Aster. Konstandin became Zain. The police officers’ names and the male sex workers’ names were changed as well.
There were a few small plot elements in The Weekend Away that were changed for Netflix:
Small Book to Movie Differences:
When Beth arrives in Croatia, she gives Kate a necklace to thank her her for planning the trip. (This will be an important fact I’ll discuss in more depth soon.)
Beth uses Kate’s face (not her finger) to open the phone.
In the book, Kate and Rob have been cheating for years, while in the movie, it seems like a one-time thing.
Nunes (renamed Pavic) is killed when he attacks Orla/Beth, while in the book, he is jailed for Kate’s murder.
BIG Book to Movie Difference: How Beth realizes that Rob is the killer
In the book The Weekend Away, Orla learns that Rob flew to Lisbon while she and Kate were there, making her suspicious of him, while in the movie, Beth does not find this out or even suspects Rob at all. Then, after Kate’s murder is seemingly solved, Orla and Rob return to London and spilt up. One day, Orla hands baby Marlow over to Rob for his scheduled visit and they walk off. Then Konstandin sends Orla footage of Kate arguing with a man who Orla recognizes as Rob.
In the movie, when Beth first arrives in Croatia and meets up with Kate, she gives Kate a present: a necklace of black onyx beads strung on a chain. One of the beads falls off and Beth apologizes for the necklace being faulty. (Hmm, that’s not suspicious at all and I knew the bead-shedding necklace would probably figure into the plot later on.) Just like in the book, Beth finds about Rob’s fling with Kate when she gets into Kate’s phone (in the movie it seems more like a one-time thing, while in the book the affair has gone on for years.) But in the movie, Beth never seems to consider that her own lying, cheating husband Rob could be Kate’s killer. Which is weird, because she suspects Kate’s husband Jay and points out that he could have easily taken the short flight from London to Croatia and killed her.
In the movie, how does Beth finally figure out that Rob is the killer?
Rob and Beth are back in London after Beth’s ordeal of being arrested for Kate’s murder and attacked by both Pavic and the creepy landlord. They are now living apart. Beth is dropping off baby Aster for a visit and asks Rob for her spare car key. While looking for it, she finds a black onyx bead in his jacket pocket. She freaks out and hides in the bathroom, where she tries to call the Croatian police, but Rob interrupts her. Then she confronts him about being the killer. He claims it was an accident, that Kate was threatening to expose their affair and he pushed Kate and she fell. Beth reminds him that Kate’s cause of death was…. drowning. Nice try, Rob. He begs her not to call the police …. but she already has and they have been recording the entire conversation. Not only that, they have sent the London police to arrest Rob. A furious Beth hits him and he falls down. The movie ends with Beth and baby Aster walking through the park.
Yes, that’s a better ending, but it also seems so random. After Rob killed Kate late at night, he saw a black onyx bead from her necklace sitting on the dark, shadowy river bank and put it in his pocket? (In comments, Alixeaux points out that the bead probably fell in his pocket when he killed Kate and the beads flew everywhere. Yes, probably, but I still say this whole string of events is incredibly improbable. The necklace didn’t have that many beads, but one of them flew right inside his coat pocket? And then Beth just happened to find it?
I see why the ending had to be chanced. The way it happens in the book is not only open-ended, it just doesn’t translate to the screen. In the book, Orla watches the security video on her phone and assumes the man fighting with Kate is Nunes (the police officer), because that who what Konstandin told her it was. Then, after she’s handed over her baby to Rob, she watches the video again and notices familiar mannerisms in the person with Kate, mannerisms she’s just seen her husband display with their daughter. There is something truly chilling about the fact that Rob strokes Kate’s hair before he pushes her into the water, just like he’s just lovingly stroked their daughter’s hair. And even more chilling, Rob has walked off with their baby. AHHHH. A frustrating ending, but a creepy one!
SPOILER DISCUSSION FOR THE WEEKEND AWAY
Overall I thought the book had good twists and turns and I enjoyed reading it. I wasn’t that thrilled about the book’s open ending, though. My theory is that the Netflix Adaptation will have the husband as the murderer, but get rid of the bizarre baby-stealing. But we will find out March 3 and I will update this post. (Update: I was right!)
My thoughts on book vs. movie of The Weekend Away:
I think watching the movie made me realize that I think I would have liked this story better if I’d been able to see the characters together more often (Beth, Kate, Rob, Jay). Because we don’t, we really don’t get much of a sense of Kate and Beth’s relationship, or Beth and Rob’s, so everything we know about their relationships gets told to us. In the book, Kate and Rob have been cheating for a while. In the movie, Kate suggests it was only one time, a “mistake” and suggests that Beth and Rob’s relationship has suffered due to her postpartum depression. This isn’t really filled out very much, as most of the movie plot is Beth looking for a missing Kate.
The movie and the book both seem to suggest a budding romance between Orla/Beth and Konstandin/Zain, but he just drops out of the picture completely. In the book, he’s a more fleshed-out and sympathetic character.
In the book, Kate is a much less sympathetic character, a lying friend who cheats with Orla’s husband for years, then gets Orla involved in a drug-fueled night with sex workers. In the movie, she comes off as more of a free spirit who makes one terrible mistake with Rob and pays a high price.
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