Outlander Book Club: Drums of Autumn Chapter 27 breakdown

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

Just the Outlander chapter

Jamie and Willie spend time in the forest together. This is to keep Willie safe so he doesn’t get measles, but Willie isn’t happy about leaving. He wants to stay with Lord John Grey.

It’s partway through Drums of Autumn Chapter 27 that Jamie really understands why. Willie has lost the woman he knew as his mother. Sure, Isobel wasn’t his mother, but she cared for him and raised him as her own. Likewise, Lord John Grey has raised Willie well, and the boy is terrified that he’s now going to lose the man he views as a father.

This hurts Jamie in a way, but at the same time, he is also glad that Lord John Grey has raised Willie so well. It shows that John didn’t do it out of duty and honor, but also out of love. John has also given Jamie a chance to see Willie, showing that John does care about Jamie, too.

This then leads to Jamie thinking about how John is the last connection between Jamie and Willie. Isobel knew the truth and Jamie suspects Willie’s grandmother knows the truth, but that’s it. Nobody else knows that Willie is actually his son. There’s no way anyone will want that truth to come out. Willie’s grandmother would never admit it.

If John dies, Jamie will never see Willie again. He’s lost that connection, so he has to hope that Claire will heal Lord John Grey. Jamie doesn’t doubt that Claire will do her best, but that doesn’t stop him worrying about something Claire can’t control.

We do get some excellent bonding moments between Willie and Jamie. Jamie gives Willie the chance to save face when he’s crying by mentioning that the “pain” could be stomach cramps. The two bond over fishing. And Jamie does slip up a few times, but Willie never seems to notice. He doesn’t remember Jamie as Mac from Helwater.

In the end, Willie asks Jamie if he has any children. Jamie tells him that his adult daughter is in Boston, which isn’t completely a lie. He also says that he has a son who doesn’t live with him. Again, it’s not a lie. Jamie is just omitting some of the truth because Willie either won’t believe it or he will be angry at previous lies told to him. It’s not fair on Willie to tell him the truth now.

This is one of my favorite chapters as we get to see Jamie bond with Willie. It means more to Jamie than it does Willie, but that’s not what’s important here. It’s a chance for us to see the type of father Jamie could have been.