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December 15, 2022

The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks ~ a Review

by  Susan Roberts 

A powerful, propulsive novel about America’s most notorious kidnapping through the eyes of the woman who found herself at the heart of this deadly crime.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical fiction novel The Lindbergh Nanny
November 2022; Minotaur Books; 978-1250827401
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); historical mystery

I had heard about the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby but knew very little about the details of what really happened.  This well-researched novel about the Lindbergh family is told from the perspective of the baby's nanny Betty Gow.  We learn about the family,  the way the parents wanted the baby treated, and the servants who made up the staff at the Lindberghs' home.  After the kidnapping, we learn about 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.

Betty is an immigrant from Scotland and takes a job as the nanny for the Lindbergh baby, Charlie.  At this time, Charles Lindbergh was revered in America because of his nonstop solo flight to from New  York to Paris in 1927.  He's married to Anne Morrow Lindbergh, a very wealthy member of high society.  Their son Charles was born in 1930.  The kidnapping of young Charlie happened on March 1, 1932.   The family complied with the ransom notes and tried to do whatever they could to get their young son back.  The baby's body was discovered in May 1932.

Betty is a very attentive nanny to the baby and they become very fond of each other to the point that Charlie's mom is jealous when the baby reaches for Betty instead of his mom.  Betty starts dating a sailor who has recently immigrated.  Life seems to be going well for the Lindbergh family until the night that Charlie disappears from the second floor of the house.  Betty quickly became one of the main suspects in the kidnapping and was interviewed extensively by the police and FBI.  She is devastated at the child's disappearance and tries to figure out on her own who was responsible for the crime.  Even after the trial when a man is tried and found guilty, the American public still believes that Betty had some part in the crime.

The author did extensive research and her characters are all based on real people.  Of course, since this is historical FICTION, there are situations and conversations that only exist on the pages of the book.  I read a lot about the kidnapping after I read the book and was impressed with how closely the book followed the actual events and people.  The entire story had a different feel since it was told by the nanny and was more emotional since she was close to the child.  Be sure to read the author's notes at the end of the book about the research that went into this story.  This book is a well-written interesting part of our American history.
Buy The Lindbergh Nanny at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.

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