"The Woman in Cabin 10" Book Review
By Ruth Ware
It's natural to be fearful, we all fear what is out of our control. Many fears we try to push past, give them some diluted form of logic in order to better comfort ourselves rather than trusting our own instincts. However, when one shows their fear, accepting it without feeling guilty for it, others will belittle it for they cannot relate. Make the entire concept something irrational, silly, or outrageous. For Lo Blacklock that is exactly what happens to her.
Home is supposed to be a safe place, a place where all one's fears of the outside world are locked away by closed doors, sealed behind latched windows. Asleep in her bed Lo is abruptly woken by a weird presence in her house, only to find a burglar in her home. Rather than hurting her, he shoves her into her room removing the doorknob, so she is trapped in her, not so safe place for hours in fear of the robber returning to hurt her. Naturally, Lo survives the encounter but is well shaken up and in desperate need of this luxurious cruise, she has been gifted.
Luckily for her the robber stole her tube of mascara, needing to make a good impression with the others on the cruise, she asks the girl in the cabin next to her if she can borrow some. Many hours pass, plus an abundance of drinks gulped Lo is alone in her room heavily intoxicated, where she hears the sound of a scream and the splash of what she believes to be a body hitting the cold hard ocean water. Desperately searching for someone to help, but nobody believes the tails of a drunk woman on anxiety medication. The only person she can rely on is herself, the only piece of evidence she has a small tube of mascara.
What I loved about Lo's character is how imperfect and brave she is. Just before the cruise, she was apart of a burglary that made her feel small and violated. All her silly fears that life proved real, but rather than hiding in a corner when she felt another girl had felt just as she had that long night trapped in her room, she pursues the potential crime she knows in her heart to be true. Not concerned about her well being or what might happen to her, she preserves. Her character wasn't even close to perfect nor is she godlike, but a functioning alcoholic with an anxiety disorder mixed with PTSD. It makes her real, someone everyone can relate to that is just dealt a bad hand and given a flashing target of bad luck to place on her back. Her flaws even aid in the story progression for the book is written in a first-person perspective, meaning you only ever get her view on what's happening around her, but how can you trust the thoughts of a drunk woman when even she questions them herself, just as the others on the boat do.
The one part I wasn't too pleased with the novel was how to focus the author was on creating the theme and scenery of the book, that this wonderful character she developed soon became shallow. Her personal story beginning and ending with her cruse. Never really indulging her audience into why Lo has her anxiety disorder but simply just stating there is no reason for it, it just kind of started one day. As well as Lo having an intimate relationship with one of the other members on the boat, never truly giving a reason for why they ended...it just did. This is when I found the book to begin slipping and almost put it down. If it weren't for the articles, emails, and web pages at the end of every few chapters, giving a small taste of the inevitable conclusion. Much like reading the last page of the book, because you can't bare waiting to find out how it ends. These hints I felt saved the novel.
Even the small hints can't prepare the reader for the gripping ending, filled with suspense and just a little bit of cheese. The ending made every page even the ones that seemed dull, worth reading. "The Woman in Cabin 10" is the perfect novel for those looking to break the ice in psychologically thrilling novels as well as those in need of a puzzle to solve. In conclusion, I would give this novel four out of five stars for it lacks a little substance but overall is a good real that goes by quickly. If you really pay attention then you'll even come to realize even the darkest of strings are not left untied.
© 2017 Victoria Cook