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The Lindbergh Nanny

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The Lindbergh Nanny is a historical fiction novel that reads like a true crime book. Fredericks focus is on Betty Gow, the young immigrant nanny who discovers that Charlie Lindbergh is missing. Betty was an early suspect in the kidnapping, and this novel explores both the before and after effects of being responsible for the world's most famous baby. The author does an amazing amount of research for her novel and it adds to the credibility and the enjoyment of the novel. Fredericks gives the reader an extra treat by listing and critiquing her sources. This is a must read for anyone who loves historical fiction. It also can have a high appeal for true crime fans.

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💭What I thought would happen:

I have always heard references to the Lindbergh baby that I guessed went missing? So was curious what role the nanny played.

📖What actually happens:

Fictionalized characters and events surrounding the mystery of the missing Lindbergh baby and the nanny that played a key role in the life of the sweet baby boy.

🗯Thoughts:

When starting this I instantly thought of Murder on the Orient Express…lo and behold that is what inspired the story so that was cool.

I learned a lot while reading this, learned even more from all of the author notes at the end.

While interesting to a degree it wasn’t exactly stimulating. Could have went for some excitement at some point but hey that’s just me!

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I was lucky enough to get an ALC of this book from Dreamscape and Publishers Weekly. It took a little bit for me to get used to the Scottish accent of the narrator, but once I did I thoroughly enjoyed the story. The narrator did a good job using different voices to distinguish between the characters (both male and female).
I didn’t know a ton about the Lindbergh kidnapping beyond basics, and it was interesting to me to delve into the backstory and learn the details. The book made me want to read more about the case and trial.

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I am probably in the minority of people, as I barely knew anything about the Lindbergh kidnapping prior to reading this. I knew a wealthy family’s baby had been kidnapped, and that was it. While I do not consider historical fiction to be one of my primary means of learning, I absolutely learned a lot from this book. Frederick has clearly done a massive amount of research with this book, and it is obvious.

Frederick’s skill with emotion is also on full display here. Without a doubt, this was always going to be a sad story, but as a reader, we are able to experience the full gamut of emotions. The narration played on this perfectly too; she pulled out elements and thoughts that I don’t know that I would have had reading the ebook.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys female-led historical fiction, as I could not put this one down!

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The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks was interesting, but not enough that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was super excited to listen to this book, but overall it fell a bit flat, maybe because I had such high hopes for it being incredibly engrossing. One thing I really appreciate is the research done by the author to prepare for writing a fictionalized story of the real events. She did a good job of weaving them together, I just wish it all came across as more interesting. One thing that stood out is that I did not care for Mr. & Mrs. Lindbergh as parents, they were a couple of strange ones thinking babies didn't need to see their parents much and didn't need cuddles and love, I found them to be cold.

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📖 Book Review 📖

🎧 “The Lindbergh Nanny” by Mariah Fredericks

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A historical fiction novel about America’s most notorious kidnapping through the eyes of the woman who found herself at the heart of this deadly crime. Extensively researched with characters, details and emotions based on real people and events. I read a lot about the kidnapping via 1930s news articles after I read the book and was impressed with how closely the book followed the kidnapping, and court case. The entire story had a emotional feel since it was told by the nanny, the main caretaker of the child.

Charles Lindbergh became world famous in May 1927, when he flew 33.5 hrs alone from NYC to Paris. He became an overnight celebrity. He's married to Anne Morrow Lindbergh, a very wealthy member of high society, and a budding aviator as well. Their son Charles was born in 1930, and shortly after a young Betty Gow, a Scottish immigrant takes the job of his nanny. Betty explains the quirky family, from how the parents wanted the baby treated to the servants who made up the staff at the Lindbergh's home and the Morrow’s. The kidnapping of 20-month-old Charlie happened on March 1, 1932, before 10p. The family complied with the $50,000 ransom note and tried to do whatever they could to get their young son back. The story takes readers through the investigation and how Betty quickly becomes one of the suspects and gains the anger of the American public during what the media referred to as the crime of the century.

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Content warnings: kidnapping, murder, infidelity, suicide, alcoholism

Betty Gow is a Scottish immigrant living in the United States in the early 1900s. She lands a nanny job for America's royalty -- Charles Lindbergh and his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Betty becomes the nurse to baby Charlie (Charles Lindbergh, Jr.), the most famous baby in the USA. Charlie becomes even more famous when he is kidnapped.

Betty's life is complicated before the kidnapping, and once the baby goes missing everyone in the house is a potential suspect. All the staff have their personal lives thrust under the microscope and the strain is unbearable for some.

Penelope Rawlins switches seamlessly between accents for the characters in the novel, including Scottish, American, German, and English.

Recommended for fans of historical fiction, especially those who enjoy the American time period between the world wars.

Representation: immigrant main character, immigrant side characters, bisexual side character

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I'm a sucker for an audiobook well narrated by someone with an English, Irish, Scottish, or Welsh accent, particularly if it's authentic. For that reason alone, this audiobook is worth five stars. Penelope Rawlins does a wonderful job bringing each distinct personality to life. She'll forever be on my radar after hearing this splendid performance.

Even the best of narration needs first-rate source material, and Mariah Fredericks delivers. Many thanks for the inclusion of the appendices, "The Real Betty Gow" and "The Lindbergh Nanny: Fact versus Fiction." While ultimately a fictional novel, I was impressed by the depth of Mariah Fredericks's research and attempts to accurately portray real people as they actually lived. (I willingly forgive her for any slips, either in the name of narrative or accident.)

So many events have happened in the past 90-plus years to challenge the title "crime of the century," yet the tragic death of this innocent little boy remains a contender. Mariah Fredericks reminds us why. I recommend this book to anyone who might even remotely be interested in this case. Yes, for some personalities, particularly males, the first-person narration by the fictional Betty Gow may prove a turn-off. For the rest, I hope they will develop an appreciation for all of the lives involved, as I did. R.I.P., both Charlie and Betty. This book will also satisfy the Watauga County Public Library 2022 Reading Challenge (ending 12/31/2022) category A Book that Makes You Think. I received this book for free through the Grab-A-Galley promotion with Dreamscape Publishing and Publishers Weekly. It is a NetGalley audiobook.

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FAVORITE THING ABOUT BOOK:

While the basic story of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping is know by most people over 50, the story of the household help and what went on inside the homes where Charles Lindbergh and his family lived has been only slightly touched upon. In The Lindbergh Nanny Mariah Fredricks show us the emotional, physical and social inter working of the staff. I found this book to be absolutely fascinating. It closely watches the life of Betty Gow, the nurse, but also delves in the public and private lives of other service workers.

PROS/CONS OF WRITING:

The story flows gracefully. We are introduced to Charlie and get to know what a kind, funny baby he is well before he becomes the center of attention. The Lindberghs are presented but tend to be quiet and introverted with the staff. The relationships between the staff are obtained here and there like snowflakes that do not hold together until there is enough snow to make it a thing. Plenty of red herrings will send the reader in different directions until they have a theory but will never know for sure who helped Richard Hauptmann.

The narrator, Penelope Rawlins, is very good. She puts excitement where is should be and reads with sadness or empathy when appropriate. She did a wonderful job. I believed her to be the nanny.

WHO WOULD ENJOY THIS BOOK:

Anyone who remembers hearing about the Lindbergh kidnapping, has a interest in the kidnapping, enjoys true crime books or anyone who simply enjoys a captivating novel.

MY RECOMMENDATION:

5 stars. It is a wonderful book. I highly recommend it.

I received an ARC from St. Martin Press/Minotaur and Dreamscape Media through NetGalley. This in no way affects my opinion or rating of this book. I am voluntarily submitting this review and am under no obligation to do so.

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I enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The story is good and I liked the narrator as well.

I recommend.

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Not my favorite. I found the book drawn out and kind of boring at times. The story it’s based off of is interesting and telling it through the nanny’s point of view is a cool concept. It just fell a bit flat for me.

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Even though I sort of knew the story of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, this book presented it from another view--that of the woman who saw the baby last--the nanny. Ms. Fredericks spends the first part of the book setting the stage and introducing the "players" and their relationships, so it is half way or so that the kidnapping takes place. Betty explains about the Lindbergh's' characters, especially Charles, she tells the story of Lindbergh taking Charlie (the baby) and hiding him in a closet as a "prank". But the most astounding thing about this book is that the author gives the reader a fairly compete picture of Charlie, instead of just the Lindbergh baby, Charlie is three dimensional. It is definitely not a happy book, but it is an interesting one.

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This book had such an interesting premise. The book is called the Lindbergh Nanny and what a great point of view to get about the circumstances surrounding Lindbergh kidnapping. The problem is that the book is about the Lindbergh Nanny, who isn't all that interesting. Sure, there are sections where it gets interesting, especially right around the kidnapping, but then there's her everyday life, shown to give you an idea of how it could have happened but that doesn't need over a hundred pages of mundane daily life. By the time I got to the kidnapping part, I was bored and not much could stir my interest. This could have been shorter and maybe held my interest longer.

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I was really looking forward to this book for a while, but for me, it was a major flop. The book was so long, at points it was painful to keep listening to it. The main character was annoying, the other characters were flat, and the plot line was boring.

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4.5 stars for this historical fiction that dives deep into the kidnapping of Charlie, toddler son of the famous Lindbergh family. I was drawn into the narrative and characters right from the start and felt swept along by the story. It loses a half star only because of some pacing inconsistencies, which made the narrative sag for a while after the boy's disappearance. Still, this was a very strong book overall, the first I've read by Mariah Fredericks, and I'm inspired now to pick up others in her oeuvre.

Betty Gow is a young Scottish immigrant who lands the coveted job of nannying for America's sweetheart family, the Lindberghs, during the 1920s. She quickly becomes smitten with the unique family's young boy, and becomes a central part of the family's staff. For a good chunk of the book, we're treated to character development as these relationships develop, before the kidnapping is introduced into the narrative. Suspected of being an insider who helped coordinate the kidnapping, Betty comes under police scrutiny and struggles in the court of popular opinion.

I wasn't familiar with the Lindbergh kidnapping prior to reading this, and appreciated how well Fredericks presented historical facts alongside the fictional narrative. Too many times in reading historical fiction, I'm left wondering how much is accurate to true events and how much is speculative. The author notes at the end of the novel cleared this up for me really well. For fans of historical fiction, I definitely recommend giving this one a try (especially if you're needing a break from the usual WWII dramas).

Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for providing access to the audiobook in exchange for my honest review.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for an audio copy of The Lindbergh Nanny in exchange for an honest review.

In the 1920's Charles Lindbergh was arguably the most famous man in America and his son, Charlie, was kidnapped it was a worldwide scandal. A man was eventually arrested for the crime but it was always suspected that there were more people involved and likely someone inside the Lindbergh household. Scottish immigrant, Betty Gow, left a scandalous employment in Detroit and was hired to be Charlie's live-in nanny. She cared for and loved the boy as if he was her own. She made friends with the other Lindbergh staff and was generally liked by them all. That fateful night when she go to check on Charlie and realizes he has gone and all eyes turn to his nanny as the accomplice to this horrific crime.

This was a very interesting story that I only knew a tiny bit about and enjoyed how Mariah Fredericks brought the characters and the events of the Lindbergh kidnapping to life. She does a remarkable job of combining fact and fiction to keep the pace of the story moving and the characters well rounded. She captures the emotional turmoil of the household. I had not read any of her previous work but I look forward to reading more of her novels. I highly recommend this to historical fiction fans.

I had the audio version read narrated by Penelope Rawlins who was enjoyable to listen to. Her pacing and inflections brought the story to life and I would enjoy hearing more of her work.

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Thank you NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for accepting my request to audibly read and review The Lindbergh Nanny.

Author: Mariah Fredericks
Narrator: Penelope Rawlins
Published: 11/15/22
Genre: Historical Fiction.

I found this to be a delightful perspective, as well as a story told really well. I am familiar with the Lindbergh kidnapping and would have liked The Real Betty Gow and Fact vs Fiction sections played prior to the story. Both relay information that put the story in perspective. Why the Nanny? Why this Nanny? If you are not familiar with the Lindbergh kidnapping, those two sections may confuse you prior to hearing her account.

The detriment of an audiobook versus physical, I never think to look for authors notes, etc. I enjoyed Rawlins as the narrator.

Fredericks has put together a timeline of events and has written a poignant story. The factual events are all included. The author has filled in gaps and explained her theory in a compelling storytelling manner. Highly recommended.

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I was excited that this book was going to be a historical fiction look at the Lindbergh baby kidnapping told through the eyes of their maid, however it started off really slow and I had a hard time caring where things were going. It's possible it might have gotten better/more interesting as things went on but I had to cut my losses and DNF at about 25% Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to listen to an early copy in exchange for my honest review.

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4.5 stars

The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks is a poignant novel about the tragic kidnapping of the Lindbergh’s toddler son Charlie, recounted in a unique fashion through the eyes of his nanny, Betty Gow.
Betty is a recent immigrant from Scotland, betrayed by a man she trusted in Detroit, and now trying to find her own way in this new country. Her skills are needlework and child care, and she ends up in the employ of the wealthy Morrow and Lindbergh families. As she navigates their world of wealth and notoriety, she becomes attached to her charge, little Charlie. After his kidnapping, she becomes hell-bent to figure out who snatched him from his nursery and how he died.
The story is well-told here—previous reports implicated Betty in the toddler’s disappearance, either as an active accomplice or a neglectful caregiver. The author has done extensive research and there are revelations herein that certainly filled in the gaps in my previous knowledge of this historic event.
Told in the first person voice of Betty Gow, the audiobook narrator Penelope Rawlins was flawless as she brings Betty to life, imbuing her with all the emotions one would expect from the woman and her unexpected place in history. Excellent!!

Thank you to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for the audiobook edition to review. All opinions here are my own.

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Not just anyone can become the nanny to the famous Lindbergh baby, but Betty Gow feels she is more than up to the challenge. The little boy in her charge quickly captures her heart as she struggles to adjust to the eccentric life of Colonel and Mrs. Lindbergh. Then, young Charlie disappears and all eyes are on the Lindbergh nanny as a suspect.

I was excited to listen to this one because I’ve heard about the case before. At the time, it was considered the Crime of the Century. Getting to see the story from the point of view of the nanny was an intriguing idea since I didn’t know that much about her. It really was heartbreaking to watch as she fell in love with the toddler, knowing what was coming.

That being said, while it was full of details of the time and family, there wasn’t anything new. I didn’t learn anything new. I’m also not a fan of characters solving the case that the FBI couldn’t. The theory that the author offered was interesting, but I wasn’t convinced.

This was a well-written book. The narrator did a good job capturing the voices of each character and making each one distinct. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy fiction based on fact.

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