Outlander Book Club: A Breath of Snow and Ashes Chapter 21 breakdown

Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ
Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ /
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Outlander Season 5 Episode 9
Outlander Season 5 — Courtesy of STARZ /

Just the Outlander chapter

We start the chapter with family dinner. Mrs. Bug jumps to the conclusion that Brianna is pregnant, and gets excited about it. However, that’s not the case, and Mrs. Bug goes on to blame Roger that he may be the problem. Bree says a few choice words and then leaves.

I don’t blame Bree for reacting the way she does. I’d react the exact same way. We have to remember that Bree is from the 1960s and is a little more outspoken than Mrs. Bug would have been.

Later in the chapter, we revisit the couple. Roger is concerned that Bree isn’t pregnant yet. They have been trying and it’s clear that Roger fears that he is the one that’s causing the problem. Maybe Bree thinks the same thing. Brianna has already had one baby, so maybe Roger is shooting blanks.

This is a time before secondary infertility was understood—it is a real problem. It can also take up to a year for two healthy adults to get pregnant. This isn’t a concern yet, but it’s understandable why Roger worries.

The rest of the chapter involves Tom Christie. He shows up with an injury to his arm, which has happened because he still hasn’t let Claire fix the problem he already came to the Ridge with. This problem is getting worse, and Claire points out that Tom won’t be able to write soon. That is a concern. It’s the only real standing that Tom has on the Ridge. If he can’t write, what can he do?

Tom and Jamie do have a moment between them. They try to remain somewhat civil, but it’s clear that they’re not friends. They have little respect for each other. Jamie wouldn’t have let Tom stay had he been able to welcome the man to the Ridge.

What’s surprising is Jamie using the term “Sassenach” toward him. It’s with the vitriol that Claire had heard it used against her by anyone other than Jamie. It isn’t an endearing name when said to and by most people. Claire sees a slightly different side to her husband. She also doesn’t really like Tom, but it’s too late now.

This is the first real chance we’ve got to see Tom. He turned up in The Fiery Cross, and he’s been mentioned since. This is really the first time we’ve seen him and Jamie interact, and there’s more of that to come.