The Woman in Cabin 10

by

Ruth Ware

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The Woman in Cabin 10: Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Lo immediately runs onto the veranda and looks into the ocean. She thinks she sees a “swirling white shape … like a woman’s hand” beneath the water. She peers over the privacy screen and sees what she thinks is a smear of blood on the safety barrier of the neighboring veranda. Lo realizes that whomever had been next door must have seen and heard her rushing out. She locks herself back in her room, feeling “calmer than I had in ages … This was real danger, and I was coping.”
When she thinks someone is in danger, Lo doesn’t hesitate to try to help. No matter the reality of what she’s seen, she bravely rises to the occasion. She realizes that, in this moment, she’s coping with terrifying circumstances more capably than she’d thought possible.
Themes
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Lo calls her cabin stewardess, Karla, for help. As she waits, she notices that room service has tidied up her bathroom, and the thought of a stranger touching her things makes her want to cry. Then the head of security, Johann Nilsson, arrives. Lo describes what she’s heard, but when they go outside to look, there is no longer a smear of blood on the neighboring veranda.
Even though it’s harmless, the fact that someone was handling Lo’s possessions makes her flash back to the feelings of violation she experienced during the robbery. So far, the ship staff take Lo’s word for what’s happened, but already the evidence seems to have disappeared.
Themes
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Nilsson looks sympathetically at Lo, making her angry. He takes her next door, where they see that Cabin 10 is completely empty. Lo insists that she saw and spoke with the girl who was staying there. Back in her own cabin, she shows him the borrowed mascara, but Nilsson, speaking with “the gentleness of a big man with nothing to prove,” tells her that the mascara doesn’t prove anything, and that Cabin 10 has always been empty.
Lo senses she’s not being taken seriously, after feeling so sure of what she saw. Nilsson’s condescending kindness gives her the feeling that she’s being viewed as a hysterical woman.
Themes
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon