Outlander Book Club: An Echo in the Bone Chapter 48 breakdown

Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ
Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ /
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Outlander Season 6
Outlander Season 6 — Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ /

Just the Outlander chapter

John arrives at the house where his nephew, Henry, is being kept. Henry is a prisoner of war, but he’s gravely injured. We find out in this chapter that he has metal in his stomach. It’s stopping him from eating, and the surgeons aren’t exactly helping the situation.

However, before John can see Henry, he meets Mercy Woodcock. Mercy is a Black woman, a homeowner and freewoman in the North. John isn’t expecting that, though. He asks to speak to her master when he first meets her, leading to an awkward moment as she explains that she owns the house.

I love the way John has to double back on himself. He was not expecting this, but he immediately changes the way he speaks to her, including saying “your servant” at one point to her. I love how he just quickly changes, even if in his mind it feels strange.

He also notices something between Mercy and Henry. There’s a little bit of plot development there. Something is brewing between the two of them, and John will have a few more thoughts about that.

Mercy confirms that Henry isn’t able to eat anything. Things are not looking good, and John has to put a brave face on. He turns to some darker humor to keep the situation light, and that includes telling Henry not to die before he can get Dottie to him. Knowing Henry was injured, he didn’t want to bring Dottie right away in case the situation was something more than she can stand.

I also get a sense of optimism in John. It’s clear that he’s planning, and this is where the foreshadowing is.

There is a comment about John also having some shrapnel in him. You’ll want to read The Haunted Soldier for that.