Outlander Book Club: A Breath of Snow and Ashes Chapter 19 breakdown

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Just the Outlander chapter

The chapter starts with MacDonald showing up at the Ridge while Claire and the women are haymaking. He comments on how he hasn’t done that since Scotland, and the conversation soon moves on to the new tenants. MacDonald points out that he was raised Presbyterian, so he doesn’t really think too much of the new tenants not being Catholic.

I do find it odd that religion is such a major thought for Claire. Would the rivalry between Catholics and Protestants have been so big in the 1940s and 1960s (outside of Northern Ireland)? Or is it just that she’s lived in the past for so long that the difference between the religions is still big? After all, she’s been around Jamie for long enough.

Anyway, Bobby turns up and MacDonald doesn’t like him all because of the branded M on his face. Claire refuses to just see the brand and makes it clear that Bobby is a friend. He notes how he hasn’t fainted in some time, meaning Claire has solved his medical issue. It’s also clear that he’s sweet on Lizzie.

Later that night, there is a gathering in the house. Lizzie and Bobby are spending some time together and Claire is suspicious. Ute hasn’t seen them, but that’s because Ute is clearly trying to set up Lizzie’s father with someone, which Claire is somewhat happy about considering how Lizzie’s father is so protective of Lizzie.

Jamie sees Bobby at work and is also clearly uncertain of intentions. He gets Young Ian to head over to Lizzie to get her to mend his hand. It’s enough to get her away from Bobby for a while.

Thoughts now move onto the fire. MacDonald notes that there has been another fire, although he can’t say when it was. News doesn’t travel all that fast in the backcountry. He would like Jamie to go see the Cherokee neighbors again. Claire realizes that the fire that is written in the obituary may not be the accident she thought it was. Could Jamie anger the Cherokee neighbors and it be an act of revenge and murder instead?