Thursday, November 18, 2021

Book Review: The Nine by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg


Hannah Webber fears she will never be a mother, but her prayers are finally answered when she gives birth to a son. In an era of high-stakes parenting, nurturing Sam’s intellect becomes Hannah’s life purpose. She invests body and soul into his development, much to the detriment of her marriage. She convinces herself, however, that Sam’s acceptance at age fourteen to the most prestigious of New England boarding schools overseen by an illustrious headmaster, justifies her choices.

When he arrives at Dunning, Sam is glad to be out from under his mother’s close watch. And he enjoys his newfound freedom―until, late one night, he stumbles upon evidence of sexual misconduct at the school and is unable to shake the discovery.

Both a coming-of-age novel and a portrait of an evolving mother-son relationship, The Nine is the story of a young man who chooses to expose a corrupt world operating under its own set of rules―even if it means jeopardizing his mother’s hopes and dreams


The Nine could actually be considered two stories, and I think different people will take different things from it.

First there is the story of Hannah Weber, the helicopter mom to Sam, who will go to great length to get him into a elite private school and constantly try to control his life. She is a typical helicopter mother.

The second story is the story of Sam, her son. He goes off to a prestigious boarding school only to discover a secret and deems it important enough to ruin his standing in the school by exposing the truth.

I personally had a hard time relating to Hannah, I didnt dislike her, I just didnt really understand her actions. I tried to give my two children room to make their own descions and also their mistakes, so they could learn from them. However I was also there to reel them in if needed.

I really like Sam's character. He seemed like a good kid, and he felt like a real character having to struggle with right and wrong and doing the correct thing. I also understood his desire to get out from under his mothers controlling ways . I do however give her credit for raising a son who would expose what he did and risk everything that he had going for him. I feel like that is something that is ingrained in you from the way you are raised.

Having never read a book by Blasberg, I found The Nine extremely compelling, and enjoyed the twists that she provided throughout the story. They were not jaw dropping twists, but they fit well into the story and moved it along so it kept you turning pages. I also really loved the good ole boy networking , and the corruption she attached to it, ( of course I love a great Dark Academia book so it stands to reason ). The mystery behind it all kept me interested and intrigued. The contrasts she showed between the upper and lower classes and the academic and athletic departments felt real  and were treated accordingly.

The Nine was released in 2019 and I am sad it took me this long to find it, as it was a fantastic read, espeically if, like me you love Dark Academia and books like The Secret History and Dead Poets Society, or honestly if you just like a good mystery. I will defintelty pick up another book by Blasberg.

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