Outlander Book Club: A Breath of Snow and Ashes Chapter 39 breakdown

Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of STARZ /
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Outlander Season 5, The Fiery Cross
Outlander — Courtesy of STARZ — Acquired via STARZ Media Center /

Just the Outlander chapter

The chapter starts with Roger being woken up. Hiram Crombie is on the other side, looking for Roger’s help. It turns out his mother-in-law has died suddenly, and Hiram needs Roger to say words at the funeral. Jamie’s previous actions in getting Roger to say words at a funeral has helped people see that Roger is the one to turn to for this.

Roger agrees, and then it’s time to figure out what happened to Hiram’s mother-in-law and why the rush for the funeral. It turns out his mother-in-law wasn’t that much older than Claire. However, Claire looks 20 years younger than people her own age in this time period. It’s all thanks to the nutrients of the 20th century.

There doesn’t seem to be anything suspicious about the death or the rush to have her buried. It’s almost time for the snow to fall, so of course, people want to get her in the ground before that happens.

Claire takes some time to think about the new tenants. Very few of them turn to her for help. They look down on her as a “sassenach” and a Catholic. They just don’t trust her, and it says a lot about the time period. However, they do listen to Roger’s words at the funeral and even follow his lead when he realizes that he’s struggling to translate some of the words into Gaelic.

However, everyone is in for a shock. Hiram’s mother-in-law wakes up from the coffin. She isn’t happy that there’s no wake and that Hiram has spent so little on the funeral. She also isn’t happy that she’s not being buried with the jewelry that she wishes to be buried with.

Has it all been a mistake? Claire notes that there’s a pulse in the woman’s abdomen that shouldn’t be there. It’s clear this woman isn’t going to stay alive for much longer. In fact, by the end of the chapter, she’s died although saying that she forgives Hiram for his actions. It’s time for the funeral again.