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The Lindbergh Nanny

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Member Reviews

A wholly enjoyable read, which feels weird to write given the storyline. There were a few tics in the writing that forced me to double-back, and the semicolon abuse would have sent my high school English teacher into a nervous breakdown, but the story — and the author’s note in particular — struck me as profound, sad and beautiful.
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New to The U.S. and after a bad breakup, Betty Gow lands the coveted role of baby nurse to the most famous baby in America.  Betty quickly falls in love with baby Charlie, but finds Charles to be on the eccentric side and Anne, while sweet, troubled with her nerves. When Betty meets a sailor named Henrique and starts dating again, it’s not long before little Charlie disappears from his upstairs bedroom.  Betty, is put under a microscope and soon is a suspect in everybody’s eyes.  After all she was the last one to see little Charlie.  With a $70,000 ransom, the public is sure that Betty was working alongside her new boyfriend to collect the exorbitant ransom.  Betty must now set out to find out what really happened that night to set the record straight and to clear her own name.  Fredericks cleverly mixes fact and fiction in this compelling story of the notorious kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh, Jr. in 1932.  Thank you to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for an ARC of this book.
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Honesty, I did not finish reading this. I’m not sure if it was just me not being in the right head space to read it, but I just couldn’t finish it. I thought the characters needed more emotion and that things were just not taken as seriously as they should have. Again, could have just been me, but I didn’t finish it.
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This book. In this new stand alone book, The Lindbergh Nanny, we deal with the tragic story of the Lindbergh baby and the kidnapping. This book was full of rich character development and stunning research that really bought the story to life. The telling of the story from the view point of the baby’s nanny, Betty Gow, brought another level of emotion and intrigue to the story.
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“𝑶𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏, 𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒍 𝒔𝒖𝒔𝒑𝒊𝒄𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒄𝒖𝒓𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒂 𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒌𝒆 𝒘𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒔𝒆. 𝑾𝒉𝒐 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒉𝒆 𝒏𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒅?”

I love a good historical fiction read, especially when it involves something I didn’t know a lot about; The Lindbergh Nanny is a fascinating look at a kidnapping that made headlines in the 1930s.

Only having the perspective of the nanny of the Lindbergh family, Betty Gow, gives the feeling of mistrust in two ways; while reading, I wasn’t 100% sure if I could trust what Betty said, but on the other side of the coin, if I believed everything Betty saw, then much like her, I kept questioning “who on the inside helped with the kidnapping?” I knew a little bit about this historical event, mostly that Agatha Christie used it as inspiration for the Daisy Armstrong kidnapping in her book Murder On The Orient Express; I felt like I learned a lot about this tragic event. I was very pleased to read in the afterword that Mariah Fredricks has done a lot of research, and tried when possible to even incorporate exact dialogue from transcriptions and police interviews. The first 40% of the book is a little slow, as it is a buildup getting to know characters and their motivations; it picks up once Charlie goes missing and feels like a true mystery. Ellerson and Betty have a fun connection and relationship in the novel, which I was was explored more; the secret Ellerson keeps is completely understandable for the 1930s and his trust in Betty (and vice versa) was admirable. The story is all about the effect that suspicion and doubt has on people, even those who are innocent.

The Lindbergh Nanny is a story of grief, secrets, expectations, repercussions, guilt and innocence. It offers one possible explanation for a case that has never truly been solved, blending fact with fiction expertly. Thank you to Minotaur, St. Martin’s and NetGalley for the ARC!
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The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks is a story based on true facts of the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh's son in 1932. 

The novel's main character is Betty Gow, the Lindbergh nanny. Betty loved Charles Jr. and took care of him 24/7 even when the parents went on their many jaunts around the world. Betty is Scottish and came to America at her brother Billy's encouragement.

Betty, because of her close proximity to the child is soon perceived as a suspect after the kidnapping. Even though it was not true, although it was suspected that it was an inside job, it still changed Betty's life. 

After she identifies the body, she goes back home to Scotland away from the suspicions that she was somehow involved. Even in Scotland she is looked at as a suspect until the trial. She returns to America for the trial and upon seeing the suspect, Richard Hauptman, she recognizes him as having been in the house at some point. He was apprehended after spending some of the ransom money. 

This book has a lot of different characters, those living and working in the Lindbergh and Morrow households. Some are likeable and some are not and that is where some of the suspicion comes from. 

There is still speculation that Hauptman did not do it alone that he had had help from someone in the household. He was convicted and sentenced to death by electrocution in 1936.

I love a good historical novel based in part on facts. Mariah has done a wonderful job of putting all the pieces of the case together. Written with knowledge and compassion it makes for a great read. 

I give the book 5 stars!
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This historical fiction read had a mix of well research facts as well as fiction which was highlighted in a section in the back. Betty Gow was just not an interesting character and I think that is due to her being not very deeply written. The police investigation was a well written part with the parts before that feeling to be dragging on.  This was an okay read and I recommend it to those who are interested in the Linburg kidnapping.
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A fictional telling of the Lindbergh baby's kidnapping from the nanny's perspective.  This one was so well done that it almost read as non-fiction.  Well done.
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There was something so authentic about this novel, and the earnest devotion and need to know of the bright light at its center, Betty Gow, a 26 year old immigrant from Scotland and nanny to Charlie -the infant son of national hero Charles Lindbergh.

 Of course, most of us know the sad ending to the kidnapping story but the author has done her homework as she, via her protagonist, scrutinizes everyone from the staff at the estate to strangers on the street as potential perpetrators of the unnerving event.  No one was above suspicion and even Nanny Betty comes under police suspicion and ultimately faces the wrath of a public that initially blames her for what befell little Charlie. 

 This is a book about resilience, and the imperative of standing your ground and defining yourself to yourself and others, and serves as a riveting reminder that nothing in this life is ever as it seems on the surface and that all the fame and fortune in the world cannot absolutely ensure the safety of you or your loved ones.
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This was such a fantastic read! I've loved her other historical books (which I do hope that series continues) and this one sounded really great, so of course I had to pick it up! I didn't know at first that this was a real case, that this happened in real life, but oh, did that make everything sadder!

Honestly, Mr. Lindbergh was a bit of an asshole. Going in knowing that Charlie was going to disappear, and when does, and it turns out that Mr. Lindbergh moved him, that was not cool. And sure, this is a fictional account, and it might not have happened, but then there's some questionable political stances that he held, at least from a modern perspective. And the author does talk about how he had some pretty horrible views. 

At first, there was the mystery of what happened to Betty, the synopsis tells us that it was a love affair gone wrong, but not how, or what happened there. So that was interesting. And then Charlie was taken, and that mystery, that was heartbreaking! 

Part of this book is the set up, of her time with Charlie. Then it's about his disappearance, and the investigation, and everything that happens after that. The question of who tipped off the kidnapper that they were there, and the guilt...oh. Betty was such a fantastic character to read about, surrounded by these horrible circumstances! 

This was a wonderful mystery, and I can't wait to read more by Mariah Fredericks!
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Thank you to St. Martin’s Books and Minotaur Press for the review copy of this book. I really liked The Lindbergh Nanny. I really didn’t know much of the details surrounding the actual kidnapping and I thought the author wove together mostly facts with some fiction wonderfully.  It was well researched and well written. I would definitely recommend.
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I enjoyed this book! The aspects of historical fiction mixed with mystery was a great balance. This was a tragic event in history and I feel like the book was written well.
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I think we have all heard of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping even though it happened in the early 1930's. I'm not even sure how I heard of it, basically all I knew was it was a rich couple, and he was a famous aviator, and they had a darling baby boy with blond curls who was kidnapped.
Reading this book has given me more of an insight into what happened.
Quoted from the book, " The Lindbergh Nanny is not a work on investigative nonfiction. It is a novel, based on biographies, histories of the case, and a range of sources including websites dedicated to the crime."
I invite you to do your own research into this case for more information if you have the interest.
Scottish immigrant, Betty Gow comes to America to work. Struggling to make sense of the rules in this new country as she cares for Charles Jr, she finds Mrs. Lindbergh shy and nervous and Charles Lindbergh Sr eccentric and an uncomfortable person to be around.
Her darling is Charles Lindberg Jr. the baby in her charge that she dotes on. The Lindbergh's are very wealthy and have plenty of staff to help them.
Betty takes her childminding seriously and doesn't have time for flirtations or romance then Henrick , aka Red comes around and she's smitten.
Shortly afterwards the darling baby disappears.
The book has a somber tone to it the whole way through.
I do believe after the kidnapping there is a lot of filler in the book. It talks about Betty's daily life, the police interrogation multiple times being that Betty is the prime suspect because she saw the child last before his disappearance.
The book gives us good interaction between staff members, and we get a back story on most of them. Very well researched book. I give it 4 stars.

Pub Date 15 Nov 2022
I was given a complimentary copy of this book.
All opinions expressed are my own.
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Thank you to @netgalley and @stmartinspress for the eARC of The Lindbergh Nanny. I started a buddy read in a group for this one and failed abysmally. 🙃 My ability to read on pace with anyone lately is in the garbage can. 🗑️ 

This was an interesting historical fiction novel, which you guys know is my favorite genre. I went ahead and finished this book listening to my library’s audiobook copy, so about the last half. I do think this is one book that the audiobook adds a little something-something due to the accents.

I remember learning about the Lindbergh baby’s kidnapping and death at some point in my history classes, but never any specifics. This book tells the story from the viewpoint of the nanny, which I think is an excellent reference point to look at it. 

Overall, I think the story was good; a solid historical fiction read. I didn’t find myself itching to pick it up each night, but I did enjoy the story and especially the author’s note at the end where she separates the facts from fiction. 

The Lindberghs aren’t looked on in a positive light from history books due to Charles Lindbergh’s nazism, yuck. But, no one deserves to lose a child in such a way. Even though Charles Lindbergh is not portrayed in the nicest light (he was rather a jerk, to be honest) I still felt much sympathy for his wife and family regarding this tragedy.
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3.5, rounded up. This book does a nice job establishing Betty as a character and her relationships with the people around her, including the baby, the Lindberghs, and fellow staff members, before diving into the meat of the story. The emotions feel real and it's a really interesting perspective (that of the nanny) to take on a tragedy that gripped the nation and world.
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Since the Lindbergh kidnapping happened years before I was born, I never really knew very much about it.  I was a bit reluctant to read this since I have two new grand babies, but there was very little detail about what happened to the Lindbergh baby and the writing was more factual than emotional.

The story is told through the eyes of Betty Gow, the Scottish nanny that was hired by the Lindbergh family.  She had a few secrets and in the beginning readers might wonder what role she might have played in the kidnapping.  The entire staff was suspect for a time, as the detectives felt that someone on the inside may have provided important information to the kidnappers.

The story follows Betty from the time of her hiring until years after the kidnapping.  Once the police investigation began, I felt the story passed a bit, but most of the way I was completely engaged in finding out who took the baby.

This was one of those historical fiction novels that led me to the computer to find out more about the Lindbergh family and Betty Gow.  

Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books for allowing me to read an advance copy.  I am happy to provide an honest review and recommend The Lindbergh Nanny to other readers.
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This was a DNF for me at 51%. Fredericks clearly did a ton of research into the Lindbergh kidnapping and the many alternative theories about what happened and made the nanny a sympathetic character, but I lost interest in what was going on and couldn't make myself finish. My DNF was definitely a case of a good book ending up with the wrong reader at the wrong time. I would encourage historical fiction and historical mystery fans to check this one out.
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Fantastic book and the author clearly did her homework! My patrons will love this! I will be looking forward to more from this author!
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I really wanted to love this book, but while the subject matter was interesting, the book felt slow for me overall. Still definitely worth the read, but not as good for me as the author's other series. Then you for the opportunity to read.
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Wow, this was so well written!! I love it when a historical fiction story is based on facts and some mystery thrown in. The fact that this is also a true crime story was a win for me.
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