Book Reviews · Other good stuff

Book Reviews: The Woman in Cabin 10, Lilac Girls, The Zookeeper’s Wife

Book Reviews: The Woman in Cabin 10, Lilac Girls, The Zookeeper's Wife

If you’ve read any of these I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Also tell me about what you are reading now. Anything good?

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Travel journalist Lo Blacklock is assigned the piece of a lifetime when she is chosen to take a maiden voyage on small, luxury cruise ship in the North Sea. The trip is going well until Lo witnesses a woman in the cabin next to hers being thrown overboard. Lo immediately reports the incident, but all crew members and passengers are accounted for. Her mental stability and substance use start being questioned. We are left to wonder if there was a woman in cabin 10, and if so what happened?

I think maybe I don’t like thrillers as much as I used to or maybe my expectations are too high. I’ve read several recently that I enjoyed but considered average to just above average. I haven’t had one blow me away in awhile, and that includes The Woman in Cabin 10.


Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

The Lilac Girls is told from the perspective of 3 different woman at the cusp of and through World War II. Caroline Ferriday is a single socialite working at the French embassy in New York City. Kasia is a Polish teenager who is sent to a concentration camp after attempting to be part of the underground resistance in her hometown. Herta Oberheuser is a German doctor working at the concentration camp Kasia is sent to.

The author weaves historical details in with fictional embellishments to create characters and a story to be cared about. Don’t skip over the author’s notes at the end. You’ll get an explanation of  her inspiration and research for the book along with information on which parts were based on true life and which she took creative amendments.


The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

Zookeepers Wife by Diane Ackerman

The Zookeeper’s Wife is based on a true story set in Poland at the beginning of World War II. Antonina and Jan Zabinski ran the Warsaw Zoo at the time of the German invasion. They remained living there and became apart of the underground movement using the zoo to relocate Jews out of the ghetto to safe houses.

I’m not going to lie. It took me a bit to get into this. I read the first third of the book and then put it down for 2 months. The content was not uninteresting. There was a lot of alternating historical information between what was happening in with the zookeepers’ story, instead of integrating the two. It made the pacing of the book slow at first.  I could put it down after a chapter and not feel compelled to continue onto the next. Once I did pick it back up again though, I read the entire 2nd half in one sitting. If you give this book a try and struggle with it, I promise it’s worth your time to keep going.

As a side note, I watched the movie after reading the book. We know that books are usually better than the movies, but in the case that rings truer than usual. The movie took unnecessary liberties without a lack of actual events that could have been portrayed. It’s a story that deserves to be read and respected.


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13 thoughts on “Book Reviews: The Woman in Cabin 10, Lilac Girls, The Zookeeper’s Wife

  1. I read the Zookeepers Wife for a book club that I was in. I thought it was very sobering but also painted a great historical landscape for understanding that time period. Great discussion opportunities. (I didn’t see the movie, because I heard a lot of people sharing your opinion) 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Lacey– Love the summaries and evaulations– sometimes I read reviews that dont’ give enough info to help me decide what to read!! We did read The Zookeeper’s Wife in our Lit Group (which makes me keep reading when a book starts slow because I want to finish and discuss it with the friends!). But didn’t see the movie. Fun to see what you’ve been reading!! hugs hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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