The Woman in Cabin 10

by

Ruth Ware

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The Woman in Cabin 10: Chapter 18 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Lo debates whether she should ask about the photo of the girl and risk Cole deleting the picture, if indeed he has something to hide. She ends up not saying anything and hurries out of the lounge, almost crashing into Ben on the way back to her cabin. Ben claims he’d left a note under the door of Lo’s spa room. She doesn’t know if she can trust him or not, but tells him about the message on the mirror. They discuss who else could have had access to the room while Lo was asleep. Ben points out that Eva wasn’t actually there the whole time; only Anne Bullmer had been there when he walked in.
The mystery is becoming more and more complicated as possibilities mount as to who was involved—and whom Lo can trust. They both take for granted that sickly Anne could not be involved.
Themes
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Ben had been wanting to tell Lo that he saw a contact listed on Archer’s phone who looked a lot like the girl Lo described; she was even wearing a Pink Floyd shirt. Lo tries to Google Archer, but the internet still isn’t working. Lo suddenly feels claustrophobic, “as if the stifling opulence of the boat were closing around” her. She escapes onto the windy deck. As she looks across the ocean, “the dark gray waves stretched out like a desert.” A big wave hits, and Lo throws up over the side of the boat.
It’s impossible to know whether Ben’s lead actually means anything, since there’s no way of connecting to information or help beyond the ship—adding to the sense of being trapped and isolated. This, combined with seasickness, finally overwhelms Lo as she sees the vast ocean all around them.
Themes
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Wealth and Power Theme Icon
As Lo and Ben reenter the ship to avoid Tina on the deck, Ben comments that he would bet on Tina’s involvement in foul play, since “she’s a stone-cold bitch … I swear she’d kill for a story or a promotion, and it’s women she seems to pick on.” Lo is shocked by the trace of misogyny in Ben’s tone, but also isn’t sure if she can dismiss his words—remembering Tina’s aggressive behavior earlier. Ben shares the gossip that steward Josef had come out of Tina’s room early that morning. Lo can’t laugh at this, having seen the staff quarters; she wonders, “how far might someone go to escape their confines?” They come upon Alexander Belhomme and chat about the people he saw wandering the ship in the wee hours, but Lo is so tired and confused she isn’t sure what makes sense anymore.
Lo is bothered by the contempt in Ben’s tone, but has gotten aggressive vibes from Tina herself. The fact that Tina apparently slept with Josef would explain her behavior toward Lo earlier. Lo wonders if living in such a claustrophobic environment has a negative effect on the staff, leading some to behave in ways they otherwise wouldn’t.
Themes
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Wealth and Power Theme Icon