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The Lindbergh Nanny

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Member Reviews

This is a brilliant novel about the Lindbergh kidnapping. Even though this is a work of fiction it does contain factual accounts of the kidnapping. The author focuses on the nanny of Charles Lindbergh: Betty Gow! The accounts of the true events experienced by Betty shows her courage and compassion towards the baby Lindbergh, and the aftermath of his kidnapping and murder. An excellent read!

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Thanks so much to the author, Minotaur Books, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts. All opinions are entirely my own. { partner } All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on my blog at tacklingtbr.home.blog.

TW: death, kidnapping, injury to children, mention of violence

Of course we've all heard of the Lindbergh kidnapping, which happened in 1932 and went down in history. But how much do we know about the people involved in the baby's life, and in the trial that followed his disappearance?

This book takes a closer look at one particular member of this party - Betty Gow, the Lindbergh nanny. This book is a fictionalized view of the events, and her time with the family, from her perspective.

I listened to this book on audio, because I was worried that it would be a bit slow or dense, like some historical fiction can be. But this book really blew me away with how quickly it was paced, and how I wanted to hear and understand every little piece of it.
Like I said above, it is a fictionalized perspective on real life events, so it combines historical fiction with true crime, mixing the fictional moments and dialogue with direct quotes and statements and court transcripts - and I thought that it balanced that mix seamlessly.

I devoured this book on audio, listening to it fully over the course of two days. The voice acting in this book was wonderful (and come on, you can't go wrong on audio with a main character with a Scottish accent, right?) and made it feel like she was really just sitting there talking to me, and telling me her story. I'm glad that I listened to it on audio, but I'm also looking forward to coming back to it some time in the future and reading it in print, to see if there were any of those beautifully small details that I missed the first time around.

Overall I would definitely recommend this book to friends and fellow readers! Obviously there are some sensitive subjects and potential triggers talked about in this book, but if you're familiar with the real life case then you're familiar with everything discussed here as well. I think that the best way to read this book would be somewhere quiet with a roaring fire and a large glass of wine. And if you're anything like me, and you get as sucked in to the character and story as I did, settle in and get cozy - you might be there for a while.

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This was a DNF title but not for lack of interest or quality of writing.

What I read of The Lindbergh Nanny was fantastic. The pacing of the first 100 pages was slow but steady. Sadly, I didn't get to where the baby was kidnapped but this is definitely on my list of NetGalley books to finish/read again.

The quality fo writing is solid and vivid. It really drew me in; I love the perspective of an event that is familiar. This definitely a great book and it makes me sad I ran out of time to finish it.

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A very engaging work of historical fiction. The dialogue and characters are so well developed it was hard to discern the truth from what was fiction (the author did do a great job at the end of the book of discerning what was which. Rich characters, a historic famous murder case. I would definitely read this again!

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I must admit I was not at all familiar with the Lindbergh kidnapping in 1932, other than knowing Lindbergh’s baby, Charlie, was taken. I had no idea that the story came to such a sad and violent end. This book is written from the perspective of Betty Gow, Charlie’s nanny, and takes place when she begins her position with the Lindberghs through the end of the trial.

The book is an excellent blend of fact and fiction. Fredericks clearly did her research while writing this one. We get to see how close Betty and Charlie become, partly due to the fact Charlie’s parents are often away. Seeing their relationship grow was quite poignant and tender. We get to know the other staff at the 2 homes the family frequents as well, many of whom come under suspicion during the investigation. Betty in particular because she was the one to leave the nursery window open.

This is an excellent read even if you have no prior knowledge of the kidnapping. As usual, I went and explored the case in more detail after I finished the book. A highly satisfying book!

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4 ⭐️

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Betty Gow can’t believe her luck when she is hired to nanny for the most famous family in the world, The Lindberghs. Their son, Charlie is a joy whom she quickly grows to love, although the pressures from the press surrounding the family, as well as some secrets from her past, cause some challenges. When little Charlie is kidnapped, the police suspect an inside job. Betty works to clear her own name, as well as put the pieces together. Working inside the house, she doesn’t want to believe one of her colleagues is to to blame, but she’ll stop at nothing to get justice for Charlie.

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💭 Thoughts 💭

This book was so interesting! Although deeply sad (as a parent I could not imagine being in the Lindbergh’s shoes) it was not a topic that I knew much about so I enjoyed learning about this piece of history. The focus on the servants and people working for the family really helped to spotlight those who kept the day to day operations running and showed another side to the famous family.

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⏳ Favorite Moment ⌛️

When Betty speaks at the trial for the man who kidnapped Charlie. She remains poised, clear, and shares the truth despite her fears. Also, when at the trial she makes some revelations that help her figure out who helped on the inside.

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This book starts off so slowly. It took me awhile to get into the story and characters - for a book about a kidnapping...the action didn't really take place until halfway through the book.

However, once it picked up, I really did enjoy The Lindbergh Nanny - and learned a lot about this piece of American history that I knew nothing about. I also really appreciated the author's note - making it clear what was entirely fictional, drawn from history, or a simple fact surrounding the case and trial.

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Mariah Fredericks did a wonderful job with storytelling, characters, and details of The Lindbergh Nanny. The Lindbergh kidnapping of baby Lindbergh is one of the most mysterious cases, which made this a fascinating book to explore that topic. I enjoyed reading this book, I'm glad I requested it.

My thanks to St.Martin's Press and NetGallery for a digital copy of this book. Definitely recommended for readers to check out!

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This is one of those mystifying cold cases that will never be solved, and yet it continues to intrigue and plague us mystery lovers. I really did not know half of the story and loved that the author wrote this from the nanny's point of view. It really amazes me how carefree they seemed to be with security around their houses, yet they were so strict about the public and photos of him. This really was a very interesting read into the lives of the Lindbergh's as well as what all went wrong in the aftermath of this terrible kidnapping. Although decades before technology and all of the advancements that have been made in the crime world, it still is eye opening that a lot of common sense went out the window (no pun untended) with the police and a lot of clues were potentially lost because of this. Very fascinating read and I feel terrible for the life that nanny had to live afterwards and the guilt she personally put on herself. Thank you to Netgalley for a complimentary ebook copy to review.

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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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