Cover Image: The Lindbergh Nanny

The Lindbergh Nanny

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This fictionalized account of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, told through the eyes of nanny Betty Gow, is suspenseful and nuanced. I enjoyed seeing the world through Betty's eyes, as she's funny and sarcastic but also wonderfully tenderhearted. I felt her affection for baby Charles, which brings home the true horror of his death in ways that simply reading cold, fact-based articles can't convey. Fredericks also does a marvellous job in her presentation of the adult Lindberghs, portraying them as humans, with all their good and bad (and some of them were very bad) qualities, and showing how surreal their posh, high-flying (ha ha) lifestyle appears to a normal person. As a piece of historical fiction and fictionalized history, The Lindbergh Nanny excels. I was enchanted.

My thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books, for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Pub date: 11/15/22
Genre: historical fiction:

Betty Gow became infamous when her charge, Charles Lindbergh, Jr., was kidnapped. I didn't know much about the "Lindbergh Nanny", so I was excited to read this book. It's a bit of a slow start - the kidnapping doesn't occur until ~40% in, but I found myself really enjoying the last third of the book. As Gow began to unravel what might have happened to Lindbergh, it was quite fascinating. There were a lot of characters to keep straight, so the text was easier for me than the audio, but I did enjoy the emotion in Penelope Rawlins' narration.

I think slow-burn historical fiction/true crime fans will enjoy this one! 3.5 stars.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for my ARC and Dreamscape Media for my ALC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I learned a lot while reading this book. I didn't know a lot about the Lindberghs and nothing about the nanny/nurse Betty Gow. This is her story. Told from her about the events of her employment, the kidnapping of the baby Charlie and her life after this tragedy. It's a heartbreaking story so be prepared.

Betty Gow comes to America from Scotland following her first love. She thought they had something special. She found out that it was not to be. She becomes the Nanny/Nurse to little Charlie Lindbergh and he becomes her life. She would do anything for that baby. I really did like Betty. I think she was a genuine, caring, loving, lovable woman. I think she was good for Charlie. When he calls her Beddy I admit I had to laugh a bit. I could picture he doing that. Also I could picture him on the lawn. In that closet too. Betty tells this story and it's filled with heart and soul. A lot of tears will be shed reading it. They were for me anyway.

I didn't like the Lindbergh parents very much at all. Charles Lindbergh comes across as very cold to me. Very controlling and he also thought Hitler was doing the right thing. I believe Charles Lindbergh may have been a Nazi sympathizer. He had strange ways. He didn't interact much with little Charlie and he had big expectations of his wife. I didn't like her very much either. She didn't seem to have a mind of her own at all. She wanted whatever Charles wanted and followed him for months at a time, leaving little Charlie alone with the nanny and two other employees. How can a mother leave her baby for months at a time? They change so much from day to day. I know most good moms could not do that. Charlie's parents were not really hands on parents. They just had strange ways of thinking when it came to raising a child. He was just a baby. He needed lots of love and cuddles. All babies do.

This book is very well researched. Do not miss reading the end THE REAL BETTY GOW and THE LINDBERGH NANNY: FACT VS. FICTION. Both tell a lot and show how much heart went into this story. It's a fiction book based on lots of facts. Much of it is actual and did really happen. It's a part of history that I didn't know a lot about so I learned quite a bit reading this one.

Thank you #NetGalley, #MariaFredericks, #StMartinsPressMinotaur for this ARC. This is my own true thoughts about this book.

4.5 stars and I highly recommend it. It's very good. Very emotional.

Was this review helpful?

I did minimal research before diving into this book, as I am a huge fan of true crime. I didn't want to spoil anything, so I skimmed the Wikipedia to get the gist and then I went into this story blind-ish. This is a big deal for me considering I'm the one that googles the movie and the actors and their spouses all while watching said movie!

I loved that this is from the perspective of the accused. I can't imagine being made out to be guilty for kidnapping a child. I really enjoyed the inside look the nanny gave. There were a ton of characters to try and keep track of, so that sometimes got a bit muddy for me. Overall I think the author did a very good job and portraying the nanny's feelings and what life was like back then!

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for my gifted eARC of THE LINDBERGH NANNY.

Was this review helpful?

I really wanted to like this book. It was a bit too much of a slow burn novel for my taste. The events told by the nanny was an interesting premise.

Was this review helpful?

Having heard of the infamous Lindbergh baby kidnapping, I was very interested in learning more about it. Through the nanny's eyes, Mariah Fredericks weaves the tale of life with the Lindbergh family before the kidnapping as well as during the investigation and trial. For me, the story dragged on a bit in spots and introduced a lot of characters that were difficult to keep straight but I still enjoyed it. I would recommend it to fans of historical fiction or anyone interested in this crime. My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a galley of this book for review.

Was this review helpful?

The Lindbergh Nanny is a slow burn of a historical fiction novel. We all know what's going to happen. I found myself at almost 41% wondering when the d*** baby was gonna get kidnapped. There is a surfeit of internal monologue and a litany of supporting characters. Luckily Betty has a good voice and her perspective is interesting. There’s an Upstairs, Downstairs aspect that I enjoyed but would have liked more about Anne, Marguerite Junge, and how Betty came to be who/where she was (even more than what we know).
Overall quite an interesting twist on the story we all know with enough added to make it worth reading. Recommended for those who like true crime in their historical fiction or alternate history.

Was this review helpful?

The Lindbergh Nanny was a fascinating read. I think sometimes we forget what happens until a beautiful book comes along and reminds us. One of the most famous kidnappings ever gets new tale. I loved Betty Gow and it really made the story that she’s a real person and she was there. While some of the story is fictional some is quite real.. i truly enjoyed this trip back in history even though it’s rather grim. I feel like Mariah Fredricks had such a love for this story and the quest for truth to what happened to Charlie and to tell an almost forgotten story. There’s so many books she recommends to continue reading about the Lindbergh baby

Was this review helpful?

I left the world of romcoms and thrillers and ventured out to a historical fiction book, The Lindbergh Nanny. We have all heard the story of how the Lindbergh baby was kidnapped but this is the story through the eyes of the nanny of the baby, Betty Gow. Betty, coming from obscurity, finds herself in the center of the mystery of the crime. This was such a fascinating take on the story. I loved the dynamic of the wealthy elite and their staff, in a Downton Abbey kind of way. I loved seeing how Betty loved the baby as her own but had to tow the line since she was the nanny and not the mother. I loved seeing Betty grapple with her own guilt over the kidnapping and seek the truth to absolve herself. It was so evident how much research went into this novel but it read as gripping fiction while weaving in real life facts.

Was this review helpful?

The historical fiction books I like best are the ones that make me want to seek out information about the events they portray. This book, released on November 14, has me wanting to read everything I can find about the Lindberg kidnapping. Books, magazine articles, interviews - I want to gobble it all up. I knew almost nothing about the Lindberg kidnapping going in, but this book engaged me immediately and held my interest till the very end. Telling the story from the perspective of the nanny was different, and effective. The Lindbergs themselves were almost like shadows floating around the periphery of the story, but that was by design. Readers were given just enough information about the Lindbergs to appreciate, to FEEL how they affected those who worked and cared for their family. I will say that the pacing may throw some readers off, as you're 40% into the story before the kidnapping takes place. But I enjoyed getting to know Betty Gow, her relationships with the Lindbergs and other household staff, and her love for Charlie. I also really liked the courtroom scenes. I did get a little lost in the details when all was revealed about the kidnapping itself, but I didn't mind. I got the gist of it, and as I said up front, I plan to read more about it.

The Lindberg Nanny is out now. Thank you to Mariah Fredericks, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for the advanced copy, and for giving me a book that entertained, educated, and gave me new rabbit holes to wander down.

Was this review helpful?

As I began reading this and remembering my childhood fascination with the Lindbergh kidnapping, I was worried this fictionalized version of this period in the Lindbergh's lives, told through the eyes of their Scottish nanny, Betty Gow, would not keep my attention. Wowzers! I was wrong. In such an intimate way that a biography could not capture, Fredericks pulls us into the Lindbergh household, the key employees who were questioned and the impact on their lives and the lives of their "outside" friends. There has always been speculation that the kidnapper had an inside accomplice and Fredericks examines this and provides us with her fictional answer about a real person. She does not mess with the historical facts, but bring them alive in a comprehensive, compelling and entertaining way. Very glad I read The Lindbergh Nanny!

Was this review helpful?

The Lindbergh Nanny, by Mariah Fredericks is a historical novel based on the Lindbergh kidnapping. A young Scottish woman, is leaving one of the worst jobs of her life and hoping to get the job of a lifetime. The Lindbergh family need a nanny for their young son and Betty wants more than anything to get the position. After an interesting interview, she gets the job and her new life starts. But working for this family isn’t like most jobs. Charles Lindbergh Sr and his wife are distracted by flight. He is a world renowned pilot and she learning to fly and be his co-pilot. Betty is left a line with the boy and she becomes very attached. He is attached to her as well. They set up a routine and life seems good. She lives in NJ with them and Summers in Maine. At the end of Summer she is left with the boy, until the family calls them back home. Betty is meets a young man and she enjoys his company. He meets her in Maine but follows her to NJ. This story was very detailed. Each character was described to a tee. Once back in NJ a things start to change. The Lindberghs are building a new house, they announce that they are having another baby and the staff is starting to get restless. All this change can only cause drama and it does. One night, Charles Lindbergh Jr is kidnapped. No one can even guess how this could happen. It seems like the perfect crime. Not one lead to start with. Everyone is a suspect. The police try their best to piece it together. The investigation is lengthy and everyone is on edge. The author does a great job with the back story and character development. I didn’t know much about this story and I felt this was a good start. It made me interested enough that I did more research. This is a fiction novel but ai think the author did a great job of writing about the subject. Who really knows what happened? This was a 4 star read for me. I want to thank Netgalley & the author for my copy for an honest review. It was my pleasure to read and review this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Was this review helpful?

I liked, but didn't love this one. I didn't know much about the Lindbergh case, but that didn't negatively impacted my experience. It was obvious that the author did her research and when she presented the facts of the case they were written about in a compelling and engaging way. She was also skilled at infusing fictitious aspects to the story -- basically putting her own stamp on this story -- and I like that she clearly identified fact vs fiction at the end of the book. I'm not sure if that's typical in this genre but I appreciated her including it. The book did drag a bit at times -- the kidnapping doesn't occur until around 40% -- with a lot of internal monologues, and I don't typically love it when characters find more information than the police do. Overall though, it was a solid read and think fans of historical fiction will enjoy it!

Thank you to St, Martins Press for the arc!

Was this review helpful?

The Lindbergh Nanny is a look at the most notorious kidnapping through the eyes of the nanny. I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. Unfortunately, it was a bit too slow for me and ultimately underwhelming.

I wanted to like this one more, especially since it's a fascinating event in history! Thanks to Minotaur Books for my copy of The Lindbergh Nanny.

Was this review helpful?

This book was amazing! I really enjoyed the dramatized perspective of the nurse/nanny Betty Gow. This kidnapping mystery surrounding Hauptmann acting along or actually being the perpetrator of the crime has always intrigued me.

My favorite section was the afterword from the author pertaining to what was fact and what was fictionalization. This was a very well researched book.

This was very worth the time, and I would recommend this book to any non-fiction reader as well as historical fiction reader.

Thank you very much to Net Galley and the publisher for allowing me an ARC for review. It was greatly appreciated!

Was this review helpful?

Such a heartbreaking story that captured the interest of the entire nation. After finishing the book I find myself wanting to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth but unfortunately that can never be. Thank you to Mariah Fredericks, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for providing me with an arc of this book, published today, and giving me something to ponder and something to further research to sate my curiosity. Job well done.

Was this review helpful?

Scottish immigrant, Betty Gow, is hired to care for the infant baby boy of Charles and Anne (Morrow)Lindbergh. This is a well researched book combining fact and fiction as it focuses on the past and present life of Betty, her devotion to young Charlie and his subsequent kidnapping. All employees of the Lindbergh’s household become suspects in Charlie’s kidnapping. When it becomes evident that there had to have been help from an inside source, the most logical suspect is the nanny Betty Gow, the last person to have been with Charlie as she tucked him into bed that night. Without any concrete evidence the media quickly focused on Betty, plastering her photo across newspapers worldwide and as a result she is tried and convicted in the public’s opinion. Betty knows how much she adored little Charlie and is determined to prove her innocence and find out who was behind this heinous crime. The author’s notes at the end of the book separates fact from fiction and provides sources for the reader to go further into the facts of the “crime of the century”.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to Minotaur for the free book.
Since I first heard of the Lindbergh kidnapping in middle school, this unfortunate tragedy has stuck with me. This book was such an interesting look into this case told from a different perspective. Betty Gow was the one responsible for Charlie Lindbergh's care during the day. This book brought her story to life. With every step along the way, I was involved into this person and her story. I appreciated the viewpoint of the staff and how working for the Lindbergh's might've been and also how they were impacted by this case. It was easy to care for Betty and what happened to her after this tragedy. I also enjoyed the parts of the book that the author took liberties with. I think her theories are interesting and added some answers to the story. At the end, there is a part that goes deep into what is fact vs. fiction, which I appreciated. I recommend this to historical fiction fans.

Was this review helpful?

I have read Mariah Frederick’s Jane Prescott series and absolutely love them and have been looking forward to the next in the series. So when her new book was a stand alone featuring the Lindbergh kidnapping and the nanny involved I was curious and requested it on Netgalley. Thank you Minotaur Books for DRC in exchange for my honest review.

I didn’t know a lot about the family, the nanny or the kidnapping and am glad I didn’t. The books contains much detail about all and could feel a bit dense with the details even with this limited knowledge. I appreciated seeing the events unfold from the nanny’s perspective. What a situation to be in and with a family so adores by the public at the time.

I found this well written but long. At times my mind wondered as I just lost interest in all the details. It could just be where I am in my reading life but I would have enjoyed this more if it was condensed and more concise.

I’m glad I picked up and will certainly be reading future books by the author. Unfortunately this one and I were not a perfect fit.

Was this review helpful?

I struggled getting into this one, and, to be totally honest, it was a DNF for me for NOW. I think given everything going on in my personal life (hello, Hurricane Ian), a serious book like this wasn't something I was able to focus on. Once we get going again and the print copies I ordered roll in, I'm excited to give this one another change and recommend it to readers.

Was this review helpful?