The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

"Its size, along with the perfection of its paintwork, gave it a curiously toylike quality, and as I stepped onto the narrow steel gangway I had a sudden disorienting image of the Aurora as a ship imprisoned in a bottle - tiny, perfect, isolated, and unreal - and of myself, shrinking down to match it with every step I took towards the boat." - Ruth Ware, The Woman in Cabin 10


Original Review:

The Woman in Cabin 10 was recommended to me by a work friend. I had been interest in the book but had not sprung on the purchase just yet, and she just so happened to have a copy that she had just finished. I'd been extremely busy with school and work at the time, so it took quite awhile to read it, but had I had the time to devote to it, this book could have been read in a couple days. It moves quickly and it keeps you guessing. Ruth Ware inserts little teasers throughout the book that drive the intrigue. As far as you've understood from the synopsis and what you've read, Lo watched a woman get thrown overboard, so why does the outside world believe that she herself has gone missing? Ware skillfully delves into the realm of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, alcohol-dependency, and the stigma of prescription anti-depressants as Lo tries to come to terms with what is real and what might just be all in her head. Contemporary tales are not my typical genre, but this book was a solid read and very enjoyable.


Since reading this book over the final months of 2018 and into January of 2019, I have strayed from my typical historical fiction and have begun to have a passion for contemporary thrillers and suspense novels. Would I have given it a higher star rating had I read it more recently? Most likely, no. Lo was a difficult character to connect with, as was her boyfriend. For this reason, the book was not something that held my attention or that I would be inclined to read in a single sitting. Lo could be frustrating, but the story itself was intriguing. It would make a great beach read.

Audience: Adult
Recommended for fans of: thriller, suspense, mystery
Trigger warnings: depression, anxiety, PTSD, alcohol-dependency

Publisher's Synopsis:

Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo's stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip up the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for--and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo's desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong...

With surprising twists, spine-tingling turns, and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another taut and intense read in The Woman in Cabin 10--one that will leave even the most sure-footed reader restlessly uneasy long after the last page is turned.


Recommended and loaned by a friend

Scout Press: June 30, 2016
Edition: Paperback
340 pages

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