Outlander Book Club: Drums of Autumn Chapter 22 breakdown

Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of STARZ /
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Outlander Season 4 — Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /

Just the Outlander chapter

The whole chapter is told from Roger’s perspective, and there is nobody else involved. He’s doing research into the past, and he’s come across an obituary. Written in 1776, he learns that Claire and Jamie died in a fire.

Well, he doesn’t definitely know that they are Brianna’s Claire and Jamie, but he suspects it. There aren’t going to be many James MacKenzie Frasers with a wife named Claire. So, it leads to him deducing that these are the people he’s been looking out for.

And he has spent time looking for them. After reading about the print shop fire in Edinburgh, he spent time trying to figure out where they went next and looked at ship rosters to see if they sailed to the colonies. He couldn’t find anything, but he probably wouldn’t have thought to look at the French manifests.

Roger now has to debate with himself about telling Brianna. He knows that Brianna probably hasn’t given up searching, and he knows that she could definitely stumble across the same book he did. That means there’s a chance that she’ll learn the truth, but he still doesn’t want to tell her the truth about it himself.

It’s understandable that he doesn’t want to share this news. He feels the weight of Claire’s loss from reading it. How would Brianna feel? And technically, they’ve been dead for 200 years or so. They are dead in the 20th century. Surely, Brianna has thought about that.

Instead of telling her, he decides he should suggest she stops looking at the past. Leave Claire and Jamie where they are, but in the end, he can’t even do that.

We all think we know what we would do in this situation, but we don’t. Not really. If it ever came to the moment, would you really be able to break someone’s heart by telling them that their parents would die in a house fire? It’s an interesting dilemma that Roger has to face, and I don’t begrudge his thoughts about not telling Brianna at all.