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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
The Nine: A Novel by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg is an audio book with strong themes of family, parenting, domestic relationships and coming-of-age. The birth of Sam is the best thing that ever happened to Hannah Webber, something she considers miraculous, and that is why she devotes her life to raising this baby. Sam becomes the center of her life until he attends Dunning, one of the best New England boarding schools at the age of fourteen. It is natural for the young Sam to revel in his new-found freedom, away from a strict and dedicated mother. But his life takes a drastic turn when, one night, he discovers that sexual misconduct is a reality in his school. Can he find inner peace with the growing consciousness of this discovery?
Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg has written a book that brilliantly captures the dynamics of the relationship between mother and son while exploring the deep questions of life. The narrative is done in a compelling voice and I enjoyed how the author captures the sense of womanhood in Hannah Webber’s emotions. The theme of parenting dominates the story and it gives a realism that makes for a great read. Many female readers, especially mothers, can identify with this character. Her thoughts, fears, and sense of purpose reflect the reality of a mother’s world.
The Nine: A Novel is emotionally and psychologically rich, with characters that are elaborately developed. The audio is neatly done by performers Ari Fliakos and Marnye Young, with clear narration that captures the pace of the story and allows the reader to identify the pauses, the intense moments, and the excitement it offers. An engaging story with a delightful denouement.