The Lindbergh Nanny
Published on June 05, 2023
Reviewed by Marybeth Ginsberg
The Lindbergh Nanny recounts the story of the kidnapping of the most famous toddler in America as viewed through the eyes of the child’s Scottish nanny, Betty Gow. In early March, 1932, Charles Lindbergh Jr. was taken from his crib in his parents’ home in Hopewell, NJ. Despite the family having satisfied a ransom demand, the body of the twenty-month-old son of the world-famous aviator and his wife was found two months later not far from the Lindbergh home in a wooded area.
As a caregiver, Betty Gow had a deep sense of guilt surrounding the disappearance of Charles, Jr. She felt a strong attachment to the child and grappled with her own feelings related to her role as a devoted nanny. Despite Colonel Lindbergh’s belief in the innocence of his staff, Betty could not help but think that Mrs. Lindbergh felt let down by the fact that her son had been taken from his own crib under her care. Through her sorrow and determination, Betty was resolved to leave no stone unturned until the truth was revealed. Dignified and proud during trial, yet visibly suffering, Betty remained steadfast and strong. As the events leading up to the crime are detailed in the story, they call into question the relationships and the character of those most closely associated with the Lindbergh family. The Lindbergh Nanny places the reader in the hearts and the minds of those who worked for the Lindbergh family and experienced the life-altering ordeal that commanded unprecedented media attention and impacted so many.
Author Mariah Fredericks blends fact and fiction to create a riveting story told through the voice of Betty Gow, the child’s nanny, from her first introduction to the celebrated family to the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, the accused abductor. The book provides answers to some of the most pressing questions surrounding the crime that gained international attention, and goes beyond to frame questions that, to this day, remain unanswered. The book offers insight and suggests what may have transpired as the tragedy unfolded in the days, weeks, months, and years after the kidnapping. The novel is based on biographies, histories of the case, and a range of sources including websites dedicated to the crime, yet it captures the reader’s imagination through the fictional narrative that includes those closest to the Lindbergh family. The Lindbergh Nanny is a great choice for those who enjoy historical fiction and true crime.
Mariah Fredericks calls New York City home. She is the author of the Jane award-winning Prescott mystery series as well as several YA novels.
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐