There is something inherently creepy about cruise ships – you are confined to a small cabin, and you relinquish all control to the people operating the ship – you are simply at their mercy for days on end. This probably explains why I have never taken a cruise, and prefer the freedom of the car, or the shortest flights possible.
You can draw a lot of similarities between The Girl on the Train and The Woman in Cabin 10. Both were summer bestsellers about a murder witnessed by an unreliable narrator. Both protagonists are perceived as weak and/or hysterical. I preferred The Woman in Cabin 10, and I will tell you why.
Ware does an excellent job with the unreliable narrator schtick – she uses Lo’s unreliability in a more satirical fashion. Lo is surrounded by professional men, and one stereotypical power-hungry female. The men in the novel assume she is hysterical, nervous, or depressed when she tries to express what she saw and are quick to write off her concerns for their own agendas. This neatly mirrors the situation that many modern women face – how easy it is to create a second-guessing doubtful atmosphere when a woman is outnumbered, and how easy it is for us to doubt ourselves. On one hand, this novel is a great Agatha Christie-esque thriller, and on the other, it is a discussion about a woman’s lack of agency or ability to be heard.
Overall, the writing is concise, and the mystery truly drew me in. I truly hope this is made into a movie because I think it would translate so well onto the screen.
Did you like The Woman in Cabin 10? Try:
- The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
- The Ice Twins, S.K. Tremayne
- The Good Girl, Kubicka
- The Silent Wife, A.S.A. Harrison