Outlander Book Club: Book 1, Chapter 38 breakdown

Outlander Season 1 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 1 -- Courtesy of STARZ /
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Outlander Season 1 — Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 1 — Courtesy of STARZ /

Just the Outlander chapter

We pick up at the Abbey in France, so Jamie didn’t die of seasickness after all. This is the Abbey that Jamie went to when he was recovering after being hit over the head. His uncle is the abbot there, which gives him a familial connection. It makes sense that he’d want to be around family, but family that isn’t going to ask too many questions.

Jamie doesn’t want to talk about what happened to him. In a previous chapter, Claire said that Jamie would need to talk to someone. However, it’s clear in this chapter that he’s trying to fight against it and is trying to deal internally. That mental struggle is difficult.

Claire notes how he’s starting to waste away. He’s struggling to eat and sleep.

One of the problems is the smell of lavender. It’s a scent that Claire notes was all over Wentworth and was on Black Jack Randall. It’s no wonder that Jamie is struggling to move past the mental trauma with a constant reminder in the room.

Much of the chapter sees Claire spend time with Father Anslem. He offers Claire a listening ear while talking about Catholicism with her. Despite Claire not being a practicing Catholic, he notes that she is still a Catholic in the Virgin Mary’s eyes. She has been baptized in the faith, and that’s what counts.

She learns about perpetual adoration, which involves someone always watching over the bread, which the Catholics believe is God. Claire is surprised to realize how calming perpetual adoration is. It’s also a time for her to think about her predicament and time. She knows she loves both Frank and Jamie. She thinks of her love for her Uncle Lamb. She also considers whether there will be a time when she will be with both Jamie and Frank at the same time.

It’s an important chapter for growth for Claire. This is a time for her to work through her thoughts and assess her next steps. More importantly, it’s time for her to connect more to faith.