Outlander Book Club: Book 2, Chapter 11 breakdown

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

Just the Outlander chapter

We start off with a party, which involves the King’s singing-master looking to put together an impromptu choir for a bit of fun. I do love the guy’s personality and his insistence that Jamie must be able to sing. Of course, we know that Jamie can’t.

It’s Claire who is the one grabbed to take part in the choir. Just before, she finally meets the timid and shy Mary Hawkins, who has a stammer likely partially due to her nerves. Mary doesn’t join in with the choice, but Claire notes that she hears Mary sing from behind a curtain.

Also at the party is the Comte St. Germain. He is telling everyone who will listen that Claire is a witch, but nobody believes him. In fact, they think he’s the one who practices the dark arts.

This chapter also brings up Annalise, who had been introduced two chapters earlier. Jamie explains how he knows her, and the fact that he instigated a duel for her. Dueling is illegal in France, but that didn’t stop an 18-year-old Jamie wanting to prove that he was right for Annalise (although she definitely didn’t choose him).

At one point in the chapter, Claire mentions about the charity hospital and the idea of working there. Jamie is instantly against it. While he knows that Claire is skilled as a healer, he worries about the unborn child. It’s a fair enough argument, but he also expects Claire to be happy being a wife and the lady of the house. He thinks there should be enough for her to do. The problem is Claire isn’t happy in this life.

Claire is born to do more. She doesn’t want to sit around the house and just plan dinner parties. She was never born to be part of Paris’s high society. This is a woman who is used to doing something to help, and she feels useless and bored right now.

However, Jamie backs down from forbidding Claire from working that the hospital. He asks her to reconsider, but she asks him to keep an open mind about her working there.

As a conversation about the baby’s name starts up (with them instantly ruling out Lamb and Henry), there’s a noise by the fireplace, someone calling out Jamie’s name. Bonnie Prince Charlie has worked along the rooftops to Jamie’s house after Louise’s husband returned home early.

It’s an amusing moment, as this is the first impression Claire gets of Charles. Not only does she deal with someone who got in through a window with a monkey bite, but she gets her suspicions of Louise being his mistress confirmed.

The next day, Claire has to spend the day with Louise. She wants some of the gossip and wants to get to know Louise more. When she returns, she’s had her legs and armpits waxed, although not her “honeypot.”

We get this look at the differences in beauty routines between the French and the Scots. Jamie can’t understand why anyone would wax the hairs off their legs and arms. He definitely does understand why anyone would wax their “honeypot.” It’s a sweet moment for the two of them.