Every good mother wants to love and protect her children, but how far is too far to go when it comes to looking after them? Hannah Weber is teetering on that thin line already when she helps her son get into the area’s most prestigious boarding school, but when Sam gets into trouble away from home, she stretches her remote meddling skills to a whole new level. If she doesn’t find a way to make everything right for her baby, her Ivy League dreams may be dashed before applications are even submitted.

In The Nine (She Writes Press), Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg weaves strands of the story from Hannah’s perspective with equal parts from a third-person point of view with Sam or his dorm supervisor, Shawn, functioning as central characters. This artistic choice offers readers the most complete look possible into the curious events occurring at Dunning Academy. Blasberg has a knack for pulling readers in so close that they can share Hannah’s humiliation as she is belittled by wealthier parents and Sam’s adrenaline rush as he pushes himself to fit in with the other students. The fast pace of the narration, suspense, and well-timed revelation of new information work together to keep readers wanting more until the very last page.

Starting a new school in a place where he had no connections, Sam Weber expected the added pressure of learning the ropes and finding his place. What he wasn’t counting on were the corrupt ways of the administration, working to sponsor a continued system of wealthy, white privilege. His disillusionment with the system was part of the reason he was so interested in the opportunity to join an underground student group with the mission of pranking the faculty, but he might have accidentally gotten himself in too deep. Between rigorous academics, robotics club, romance, and his newfound membership in the Nine, Sam has a lot on his plate.

Blasberg puts her characters under constant pressure to make tough choices, allowing them to reveal their true identities along the way. Will Sam give in to peer pressure to fit in with his classmates. Will he give in to his mother’s nagging to be the perfect son? Or will he choose a new path and do what he thinks is right even if he has to do it alone? With secret societies, social hierarchies, and wild accusations everywhere he looks, a better question might be how can Sam possibly know what is truly right?

The Nine is now available.

Learn more about Jeanne on her Author Profile page.


About Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg

After graduating from Smith College, Jeanne embarked on a career in finance. Even as she worked primarily with numbers, she always had an interest in writing. She made stops on Wall Street, Macy’s, and wrote case studies at Harvard Business School before turning seriously to fiction. She has kept a journal throughout her life, eventually taking inspiration from her childhood writings to pen her first novel, Eden.

Jeanne is the founder of the Westerly Memoir Project as well as a board member of the Boston Book Festival. She is a student and board member of Grub Street, one of the country’s pre-eminent creative writing centers where she wrote and revised her second novel, The Nine.

Jeanne and her husband split their time between Boston, MA and Westerly, RI. They love to travel, hike, ski, and spend time on the water. She caught the travel bug during a three-year stint in Europe. She’s found that her power of observation is the strongest on foreign soil, providing ample inspiration for her personal essays and travel writing.