The Noel Diary on Netflix is a heartfelt drama that focuses on two characters. Best-selling author Jake Turner returns home after his estranged mother’s death. Surprisingly, a woman named Rachel also shows up to the Turner house, looking for her birth mother, who supposedly was Jake’s nanny.
Globally acclaimed author Jake Turner receives some bad news close to Christmas. His estranged mother passes away and leaves everything to him.
He is called back to settle her estate but isn’t too keen on it. However, he takes his beloved dog Ava and drives back home. There, he meets his old neighbour Ellie, who was great friends with his parents. She helps him feel more at home with grilled cheese and tomato soup.
To return the favour, Jake cooks up a great bio for Ellie’s profile on a dating app. As Jake gets busy clearing his old house room-by-room, he is visited by a woman named Rachel.
She claims to be an orphan who is looking for her birth mother. After much research, she found out that her mom was a nanny for the Turners, but Jake doesn’t remember her.
They talk, and Jake realises that Rachel has no clue how famous he is. Eventually, he has an idea and tells Rachel that they can ask Ellie about her mom. However, she’s out on a date, so the two go out for dinner and then spend the night clearing the house.
Rachel reveals that she is engaged and fluent in many languages, including Italian, French, German and Mandarin. She lives with her adoptive parents, who make and sell jewellery. She wishes to find her mother to resolve this gaping hole of uncertainty in her life and finally move on to settle down with her fiancé.
The next day, they meet Ellie, who reveals that Rachel’s mom was just 17 years old and a live-in babysitter for the Turners. She used to look after Jake and his elder brother Benji. However, she moved before her baby was born.
Ellie doesn’t have any more info but suggests that Jake’s father, Scott, might know more. She mentions that they spoke during his wife’s funeral, and he lives alone in a small town called Cornwall Bridge in Vermont.
The thought of visiting him triggers Jake as he hasn’t seen him in 35 years. His reaction also hints at a bitter history between them. Rachel still decides to travel to Vermont and convinces Jake to take the leap of faith.
Eventually, the two, with Ava in tow, prepare for a road trip to Cornwall Bridge.
The Noel Diary ending explained in detail:
Who is Noel?
As they get on the road, Rachel discovers a diary in Jake’s bag which turns out to be her mom’s. He had found it in a box at his house but never checked what it was.
Rachel reads entries from 1987 and finds out that her mom’s name was Noel, and she had run away from home after getting pregnant. Her family was very religious and believed that having a child out of wedlock was a sin.
Thankfully, the Turners took her in and gave her a good life. Rachel also finds out that Noel named her Angelica and knew she wasn’t going to get to raise her.
When she was born, the baby was given up for adoption. However, Noel left her diary behind hoping that her daughter will find it one day, and know that she will always be loved by her.
What happened to Benji?
During the road trip, Rachel asks Jake about his brother, and he talks about the tragedy that broke his family apart. When Benji was seven-years-old, there was a dangerous snowstorm.
It was Christmas time, and he loved climbing the Elm tree outside their house to hang his favourite ornament from the branches. Unfortunately, the branch gave way due to the weather, and the little boy fell to his death.
After the tragedy, his father chopped up the tree and left Jake and his mom, as Benji’s death had damaged their relationship beyond repair. Unfortunately, this didn’t do Jake any favours as he grew distant from his parents.
Does Jake mend things with his dad?
When they arrive at Scott’s recluse abode, he isn’t home. The duo sleeps in the car as they wait for him, and Jake finally meets his dad after 35 years.
The initial conversation doesn’t go well, but Rachel urges him to be the first adult in his family to stay and make an effort. Scott opens up about his side of the story and reveals that he still holds himself guilty for not stopping Benji from climbing that tree.
He left Jake with his mom because he didn’t want to rid her of a second child. Scott mentions that he wrote many letters to Jake, but the latter denies ever receiving any.
They eventually decorate a Christmas tree together and have more heartfelt conversations, finally clearing the air. Rachel takes this opportunity to talk about Noel, and Scott says that she was the one who held the family together after the tragedy.
He gives Rachel an old invitation card for Noel’s wedding, which has an address on it.
Do Jake and Rachel fall in love?
During their trip to Vermont, the duo stops at various places and gets to know each other better. Rachel seems unsure about her engagement, and Jake is revealed to be untrustworthy of people due to his past.
She finally does some research on Jake’s achievements and finds out about his superstar author status. She even buys his first book and loves it. Despite knowing that Rachel is committed, Jake finds himself falling for her.
After seeing her support during his time with his father, Jake is sure about his feelings towards Rachel. After saying goodbye to Scott, they stay at a hotel which only has one room available.
Rachel even reveals that it is her birthday, and the two celebrate. Things get cosy, and they end up sleeping together. The next morning, Rachel departs before Jake wakes up and leaves him a letter.
In it, she states that she enjoyed every moment spent with him, but she needs to return to her old life. She wants more certainty and stability around her after growing up as an orphan, and Jake’s lavish life cannot provide that.
As far as meeting Noel goes, Rachel accepts that reading about her unconditional love is all she needed to move on.
Does Rachel meet her mom?
With Rachel gone, Jake still finds Noel, who is now married and works as a nurse. He thanks her for everything she did for his family and tells her about Rachel’s existence. Hearing that her daughter knows about the entire story is overwhelming for Noel.
She asks Jake to tell Rachel that she would love to reconnect with her daughter, should she ever want that.
Meanwhile, Rachel is back with her adoptive parents and preparing for Christmas. Jake keeps calling her, but she doesn’t answer. When she finally picks up, she is shocked to see him standing outside her window.
He confesses his feelings to her and begs her to give him a chance. Unfortunately, she tells him she doesn’t love him back, leaving him heartbroken.
Jake travels back to his mother’s house and meets Ellie. The old lady is ecstatic to hear that things worked out between Jake and Scott but is saddened to hear that they didn’t with Rachel.
She gives Jake a painting of his house as a Christmas present. It even has the elm tree painted on it. To make things better, he even finds all the letters his dad wrote to him.
As Jake prepares to leave his old house for good, he notices Rachel on the other side of the road, smiling at him. The film ends after this scene, and we never find out if Rachel ever met Noel.
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