Outlander Book Club: Book 2, Chapter 8 breakdown

Outlander Season 2 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 2 -- Courtesy of STARZ /
2 of 4
Outlander Season 2 — Courtesy of STARZ /

Just the Outlander chapter

The chapter starts with Claire sharing how Jamie is always out. He’s got the business to run and people to meet, which leaves Claire at home doing very little. She approves the payments for the meals that night, which is more of just custom for the day-to-day living, but that’s about it.

It’s clear that she’s getting a little bored. She wants to do something, but there’s very little for her to do. A woman of her standing in Paris wouldn’t do anything except host dinner parties and meet with fellow ladies in the area.

Jamie can see that she’s bored, so gets her to copy some of the business accounts. That’s when we get to meet Mr. Hawkins, who later shares that his niece is coming from England for marriage. At 15, she’s going to marry an old French man. He’s a nobleman, which is why Hawkins is so excited about it.

When Claire realizes who Mary Hawkins is—Frank’s ancestor—she thinks about Frank. That means thinking about Black Jack Randall. She and Jamie need to have a conversation about changing history.

If Black Jack Randall is really dead, that means Frank can’t be born. And yet, Claire still has the ring from Frank. It means something else must have changed in the timeline. Jamie does mention that maybe Frank was wrong in the research (we’ll get to that in the foreshadowing) but Claire brushes that off. She knows the research Frank would have done. The records don’t lie, do they?

For Jamie, it means that it’s a good thing. History can be changed, which means they have a chance of changing Culloden from happening. However, Claire still has this niggling feeling at the back of her mind. She’s also extremely upset that a 15-year-old is going to marry—and marry someone so old!

The talk of Black Jack Randall brings up some nightmares for Jamie. He struggles to sleep, thinking back to Wentworth Prison. Claire wants to help him, but she doesn’t have the items she needs in her medicine box. That means heading to the apothecary.

We get to meet Master Raymond. Claire isn’t all that nice about his initial description. She’s even ruder by asking if he’s kissed any pretty girls! Fortunately, Master Raymond doesn’t take offense. Instead, he helps her find everything she needs and explains a few other items around the shop.

During the visit, someone comes in looking for poison. Of course, Master Raymond won’t sell that. Instead, he sells bitter cascara, which helps to make it look like someone has been poisoned but later recovered through the work of a priest or another potion. It helps to keep Master Raymond’s business going.

We immediately feel a connection between the two of them. Master Raymond immediately treats Claire as if he knows her and calls her Madonna. We’ll get to that in the foreshadowing section.