The Woman in Cabin 10

by

Ruth Ware

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The Woman in Cabin 10: Chapter 2  Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Her bedroom window is covered with security bars, so Lo spends two hours forcing open the door latch with a nail file. It’s four a.m., and she wakes her upstairs neighbor in order to call the police.
Lo’s persistence with the nail file suggests that she’s resourceful under pressure; rather than cowering in bed, she tackles her situation head-on.
Themes
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
After a locksmith replaces her door, Lo paces around her flat, feeling that her space has been violated. When a policeman knocks on the door, Lo is so frightened she drops her tea.
The feeling of intrusion, as well as the simple terror of the burglary, are still fresh, and the sudden knock brings them back vividly. Her jumpiness also hints at Lo’s ongoing struggle with flashbacks and anxiety.
Themes
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
After the policeman leaves, Lo realizes she hasn’t contacted the office of Velocity, where she works. She buys a cheap phone and calls, making the burglary “sound funnier and more farcical” than it really was and not mentioning the flashbacks she’s having. The assistant editor asks Lo if she still wants to go on the luxury Northern Lights cruise she’s been assigned to cover for the magazine. Lo had almost forgotten about it.
Lo feels it might compromise her professionalism to let on that she’s struggling from the fallout of the burglary, and she tries to conceal the seriousness of the incident with humor.
Themes
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Ambition and Compassion Theme Icon
Lo’s current job is menial, so the Aurora cruise is a big break for her. Her boss, Rowan, is dealing with a difficult pregnancy and has entrusted this gig to Lo. It’s a vote of confidence that could lead to Lo covering the maternity leave and even getting a promotion. Lo is insistent on keeping the gig, even though it’s two days from now, and she’s still shaken from the robbery. The editor asks her for an article on the Aurora and profiles on interesting guests.
Even though Lo has just been through a traumatizing experience, she still wants to fill this important role, showing both her determined resilience and her professional ambition.
Themes
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Ambition and Compassion Theme Icon
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That night, Lo notices how dark and damp her tiny apartment is and daydreams about getting away from “sordid, crime-ridden London.” As she tries to relax into a bath, her internal voice chides her that she’s “losing it again.” She pictures her bathroom walls closing in on her and has to do breathing exercises to keep from panicking.
Lo doesn’t live in posh surroundings, in contrast to her upcoming yacht voyage. Lo’s anxiety symptoms also surface, as does her particular fear of being trapped.
Themes
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Wealth and Power Theme Icon
Spooked by Googled statistics on repeat burglaries, Lo tries to lull herself to sleep, but at 3:35 a.m. she’s pouring herself a stiff gin and tonic, which she “[gulps] down like medicine.” She barely sleeps, and she struggles to pull herself together the next day, knowing the Aurora cruise is “an unmissable, unrepeatable opportunity to prove” herself and network effectively. She’s especially determined to get the number of Lord Bullmer, the wealthy owner of the Aurora. However, that night she still can’t sleep and has another flashback to the burglary. She stumbles out of her apartment, unable to stay there any longer.
Lo resorts to alcohol as a coping mechanism when she’s too anxious to sleep. She’s still determined to use the upcoming cruise as a launching-pad for her career and suspects that Bullmer will be a key. It’s a rare opportunity for someone like her to gain access to someone as wealthy and prominent as Bullmer.
Themes
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Ambition and Compassion Theme Icon
Wealth and Power Theme Icon