Outlander Book Club: An Echo in the Bone Chapter 26 breakdown

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Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ -- Acquired via STARZ Media Center /
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Just the Outlander chapter

The chapter starts with Roger getting distracted while he has a champagne bottle. Bree is getting ready for work and walks into the room with a hard hat. Roger is immediately aroused. This wouldn’t be a problem except that he’s supposed to be watching the children. In his moment of distraction with Bree, Mandy throws the champagne bottle through the window.

This symbolizes a lot. The first is that the security of the house is broken. The second is that Roger tries to blame everyone but himself. He is struggling with the idea of being a stay-at-home dad so much that he can’t hold himself accountable for his mistakes. It does make me dislike Roger in this moment, but I have to remember the time period we’re in.

Roger is a man of the 1960s. I still find it odd that he didn’t mind his wife working in the 18th century, but I guess it’s because there was a village to raise the children. Bree’s work also didn’t take her away from the home, and she was still expected to do all the “woman’s jobs.” In the 20th century, he is going to be looked down on as a stay-at-home dad, and it’s not something he signed up for.

He does have a job as an assistant choirmaster, but he can’t sing. There is this suggestion that Roger losing his voice is from God. What is God teaching Roger by taking away his voice? Humility? It all certainly seems to connect together, but we continue this journey for Roger as he figures out who he is, what his purpose is, and what God wants from him.

Roger starts to think of music from the 18th century, which leads to thoughts of Claire and Jamie. He ends up going to the box of items Claire and Jamie sent them and finds books the two have written. I have to chuckle at Claire’s book being written by a “man.” It would have sold better in the past considering it was about health.

In the image of Jamie, he has his granddaughter on his knee. This is parallel to Roger staying home with the kids while Claire’s focus is on work, which is what Bree is doing.

Roger’s thoughts are interrupted by Jem being home. He should be in school, but why isn’t he? Jem takes food from the kitchen and heads out to the Dunbonnet cave, so Roger follows him. On the walk, Roger thinks about what he learned about the Dunbonnet and realizes that it was Fergus who brought food and ale for Jamie. Roger is also at the point where Fergus lost his hand.

Finally, Roger catches up with Jem and finds out what is going on. Jem was sent home from school after using some colorful language. Roger is able to sympathize with his son and decides not to beat him for it. One thing that Jem knows, though, is that the cave is his Granddad’s.