Sunday, October 17, 2021

By the Books: ‘The Woman in Cabin 10’ talks mental health, anxiety

By Carly Newton

Laura “Lo’’ Blacklock, a 32-year-old travel journalist, finally gets a big break in her career. The big break comes in the form of a cruise-liner on the Scandinavian coastline, called the Aurora. But when the luxurious yacht sets its course through the Norwegian  Fjords, Lo soon realizes that she is onboard with a murderer.

Ruth Ware’s “The Woman in Cabin 10,” is a mystery-thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Once started, it’s hard to stop. Readers will find themselves flipping through the pages impatiently waiting to see how it ends.

Lo gets the opportunity of a lifetime. She was asked to take a trip on the Aurora and tasked with writing a story about her experience on the yacht. Days before Lo was set to leave, her flat was broken into while she was asleep.

Before the burglary, Lo had already been taking medication for her anxiety. After the burglary, she experienced flashbacks regularly and suffered from insomnia. Her mental state had declined and she dealt with post-traumatic stress disorder. On top of that, she was facing relationship troubles with her boyfriend, Judah.

In “The Woman in Cabin 10,” it’s apparent early on that Lo is struggling with her mental health. She is suffering from mental health issues and needs help, but doesn’t reach out for it. PTSD is a serious disorder that affects millions of people each year, and can be treatable with therapy and medications. The symptoms of this disorder can vary. It’s important to get help as soon as possible when these symptoms are experienced for any length of time.

A New York Times article, “The Pandemic Brought Depression and Anxiety. Reaching Out Helped,” is helpful to anyone who may be struggling in their current life. In the article, David Cates, a clinical psychologist and behavioral health consultant, said, “Acknowledging that something is wrong is the first step to addressing a problem.”

After this step, it becomes easier to figure out the root of the problem. David Cates also said, “When someone else acknowledges their difficulties, whether one-on-one or in a public forum, it can make it easier for us to acknowledge our own.”

So reaching out to friends and family in-person or over the internet is a good way to start for anyone who is struggling. There’s a good chance a family member or friend feels the exact same way. Nobody should have to struggle alone.

Despite her deteriorating mental state, Lo decided she still wanted to take the trip on the Aurora. The yacht is owned by a man named Richard Bullmer. Richard built his fortune from the ground up and that left an impression on Lo.

After getting aboard the Aurora, Lo was taken to her cabin, which was cabin number nine. She was in awe of the place, but she was exhausted. She forced herself to stay awake and shower so she could attend the dinner and presentation later that night. Lo chugged a glass of gin, her new method of coping, then got ready for the dinner.

As she got ready, she realized that she didn’t have her mascara.

Trying to find some mascara, Lo left her room and knocked on the neighboring cabin door, or cabin number 10. A flustered young woman answered and gave Lo a tube of mascara in a hurry, then shut the door in her face.

After the puzzling encounter, Lo headed to her room, finished getting ready and left. At dinner, she met other journalists and saw Richard Bullmer in person. When the dinner was over Lo, drunk, went back to her cabin and fell asleep. Hours later, a loud splash in the water abruptly woke her up.

Startled, Lo ran onto the veranda just in time to see a woman’s hand reaching out of the water, or so she thought. At this point, Lo realizes that the girl in cabin 10 has gone missing. To her surprise, Lo is told that cabin 10 had always been vacant.

As Lo tries to make sense of the girl’s disappearance, she becomes tangled up in a web of lies and deceit. She is pushed to her breaking point, questions her sanity and puts her own life at risk to unravel the mystery of the woman in cabin 10. In order to solve the mystery of Aurora, Lo must overcome her own personal demons and be the strong woman she always knew she could be.

Ruth Ware’s “The Woman in Cabin 10,” is a must-read for anyone who enjoys mystery-thrillers with great characters. Lo Blacklock is a great character that many readers may be able to relate to, cheer for and become attached to throughout the book. Readers should be ready for a story that will captivate them.

“The Woman in Cabin 10,” will keep everyone guessing what happens next.

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