The Woman in Cabin 10

by

Ruth Ware

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Themes and Colors
Entrapment and Isolation Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience Theme Icon
Ambition and Compassion Theme Icon
Wealth and Power Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Woman in Cabin 10, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Entrapment and Isolation

In Ruth Ware’s mystery thriller The Woman in Cabin 10, journalist Laura “Lo” Blacklock finds herself trapped at several points in the story—first when her flat is robbed, and later aboard the luxury yacht Aurora. While on the Aurora, where Lo is writing a piece for a travel magazine, she accidentally catches wind of a crime that has taken place in the cabin next to hers and is later captured for knowing…

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Perception vs. Reality

Throughout The Woman in Cabin 10, Ware constantly plays with the differences between perception and reality. For example, the extravagance of the yacht Aurora conceals the dark secrets of various people aboard; the content of emails and internet posts after each section of the novel tricks the reader into guessing that Lo Blacklock has suffered a much worse fate than she ultimately does. The most obvious examples, though, are the disguise used by the

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Trauma, Mental Illness, and Resilience

In The Woman in Cabin 10, Lo Blacklock’s anxiety is a recurrent part of the narrative. Anxiety causes real problems in Lo’s life, and her coping strategies are sometimes haphazard. By the end of the novel, however, Lo has not only managed her anxiety successfully, she has also overcome terrifying circumstances in order to help the mysterious woman in Cabin 10. In having her smart and capable protagonist also grapple with crippling…

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Ambition and Compassion

At the beginning of The Woman in Cabin 10, journalist Lo Blacklock thinks of her voyage on the Aurora—a luxury yacht cruising the Norwegian fjords—as a step toward career advancement, “a big present, fraught with responsibility and possibilities” that lands in her lap when her boss becomes ill. She hopes this gig will propel her toward a promotion, after ten years of working as a bottom-rung reporter at travel magazine Velocity. Though…

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Wealth and Power

Lo Blacklock is not a very well-off character. Her flat, a dark space with cheap locks and barred windows, is in a downscale part of London. When she has the chance to go on a luxury cruise, Lo immediately feels ill at ease in the midst of such conspicuous affluence. Although the novel doesn’t position wealth as inherently bad, it has the potential for great harm, and Lo quickly discovers that extreme wealth can in…

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