The Woman in Cabin 10

by

Ruth Ware

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The Woman in Cabin 10: Chapter 13 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
As Lo eats a solitary breakfast, she replays last night’s events and is not only sure that the girl was there, but that she had interrupted the girl in the middle of something. Despite Nilsson’s approach of interviewing the staff, Lo also doesn’t believe that the girl, with her expensively maintained nails and hair, could have been just a maid. She suspects that Nilsson wants her to start questioning her own account. She doesn’t blame him, knowing that bad publicity could ruin everything for the Aurora, its owner, and its employees.
Lo thinks that, by systematically interviewing the Aurora’s staff, Nilsson is trying to raise enough doubts in Lo’s mind to make her second-guess her story. However, Lo can’t set aside her vivid memories of the girl, and she thinks there’s something more to the situation than mistaking the identity of a staff member.
Themes
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
After being startled so suddenly in the middle of the night, Lo is convinced that she heard something. What’s more, she knows “what it was like to be that girl—to realize, in an instant, how incredibly fragile your hold on life could be, how paper-thin the walls of security really were.”
Lo identifies with the girl in Cabin 10. Her own experience of being intruded upon and trapped—terrified and helpless—inclines her to be sympathetic to the girl’s plight and to want to help her.
Themes
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Lo briefly considers getting the borrowed mascara tube DNA-tested, then realizes how pointless that would be. She tries checking her email and sees there’s no Wi-Fi connection. Then Ben comes into the restaurant. He’s still apologetic about the previous night. He tells Lo that after he left her cabin, he’d ended up playing poker with Bullmer and Lars Jenssen until four o’clock in the morning. Lo considers telling him about what she heard last night, but isn’t sure she trusts him.
Lo keeps running into dead ends, including the fact that she’s cut off from communication with land, and she doesn’t know who else to confide in.
Themes
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Trying to find her way back to her cabin, Lo wanders onto the deck and finds Tina there, smoking. Tina teases Lo about her hangover, and Lo wants to leave, but forces herself to stay and network. She’s heard rumors of Tina’s ferocity, especially toward other women, from Rowan. But she wonders what it must have been like to forge a career in Tina’s day, “clawing your way up through the ranks of the old-boys’ network.”
Lo doesn’t have much patience for the rituals of professional networking. Even though she’s heard negative things about Tina, she still has an instinctive sympathy for the lonely, pioneering situation Tina must have faced early in her career, helping to clear a path for women like herself.
Themes
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Ambition and Compassion Theme Icon
Related Quotes
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Lo is repulsed by Tina’s recommendation of alcohol and sex as the best remedy for a hangover. But Tina abruptly switches gears to ask about Lo’s career hopes. She tells Lo she’s always looking for “savvy little things with a bit of ambition.” Lo tells her she’s on a staff contract that doesn’t let her freelance. She immediately suspects she’s fumbled this exchange, but “right at this moment … my career didn’t seem as important.”
There seems to be a generational disconnect between grizzled veteran Tina and Lo, but Tina is nevertheless intrigued by Lo. Lo’s failure to seize on Tina’s offer suggests that, subconsciously, she’s not that invested in her current path. In any case, she’s single-mindedly focused on the story right in front of her—in other words, she has her own ambitions.
Themes
Ambition and Compassion Theme Icon
Lo sizes up Tina, too, wondering if she could have been involved in the girl’s disappearance. She asks, “Did you have a good time last night?” Tina shoots her a fierce look in response, warning her that “a clever girl like you knows better than to make enemies in this business.” Unsure what’s just happened, Lo returns to her cabin and finds that room service has cleaned it thoroughly while she was gone—and the borrowed tube of mascara has vanished.
Lo seems to have stumbled onto something Tina doesn’t want her to know, possibly burning whatever bridge there was between the two of them. Now that the mascara’s missing, Lo has lost her only tangible link to the woman in Cabin 10.
Themes
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Ambition and Compassion Theme Icon
The chapter is followed by a news article from the Harringay Echo, dated to the following Saturday, which reports that Lo is missing and has not been heard from since Tuesday. The article says that an Aurora spokesperson claims that Lo was thought to have left the cruise early when the boat stopped at Trondheim, so no one raised an alarm about her disappearance until Friday.
The news article builds suspense by heightening expectations that Lo is about to be involved in foul play of some sort (it’s still only Monday in the story, meaning tomorrow is the last time she’ll be heard from).
Themes
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon