The Nine


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 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.

More Praise for The Nine

The Nine is one of those suspenseful, highly addictive novels that keeps you saying, “just one more chapter” until suddenly you’ve stayed up all night to finish it. Hannah and Sam – the tenacious, devoted mother and her humble, endearing son – make an irresistible team as they take on the dark narcissism and systemic exploitation of an elite world that attempts to break them. I love this book’s iconoclastic impulse and its ultimate faith in the values of work over privilege, and love over loyalty.”
— Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men

The Nine uncovers the underbelly of an elite private school, revealing decades-long corruption, while also exposing how the fervent dreams of mothers for their children can shatter families. Jeanne Blasberg delves with unflinching precision into the chasms between parents and children, a novel revelatory for the author’s willingness to scrutinize both mother and son and their stifling bond.”
— Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author of The Widow of Wall Street and Waisted.

“Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg’s compelling new novel, The Nine, is a complex and beautifully wrought tale of the sacrifices parents and children make to join the ranks of the elite, and the shocking secrets they find once they get there. It will surely be catnip for book groups—Dead Poets Society crossed with a conspiracy thriller, with a helicopter mom’s midlife crisis thrown in for good measure—and it’ll keep the reader turning pages as fast as she can.”
— Holly LeCraw, author of The Swimming Pool and The Half Brother

The Nine… delivers a tightly plotted tale that taps the vein of secret terror every first-time parent harbors when sending a child on their own into the world. With devastating precision, Blasberg mines the insecurity, the denial, the projected hope and ambition of a mother singularly devoted to her only child played against revelations of dark doings at an elite prep school. …the reader ratchets back and forth between sympathy and antipathy toward Hannah’s fierce love, blinding wishfulness, and searing heartache… A painful, beautiful book.”

— Barbara Stark-Nemon, author of Even in Darkness and Hard Cider

Praise for The Nine


“A poignant mother-son drama… In fluid prose, Blasberg combines two tales through two alternating voices… A helicopter mom turns out to be no match for a well-funded conspiracy; engaging, with a likable young protagonist.”


“Dunning is a well-drawn setting where even the smallest dramas are magnified tenfold, and by the end, everyone has grown up more than a little bit. A good choice for fans of thoughtful coming-of-age dramas.”


Blasberg is a wonderful storyteller… Watching misunderstandings happen between mother and son is like being unable to look way from a car crash. …the reader feels each character’s hurt as vividly as if they were in the story themselves.”


“The Nine is an absorbing novel… Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg seamlessly blends a mix of coming of age school drama with sinister adult conspiracy and intrigue.”


Also by Jeanne Blasberg