The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks, Penelope Rawlins (Narrator)

Published November 15th 2022 by Dreamscape Media, LLC, Minotaur Books

3.5 Stars:

I had heard of the Lindbergh kidnapping/murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr. that took place on March 1, 1932, but this story was told from the perspective of Elizabeth Gow, Charlie’s nanny/nurse. We learn a bit about her life in general, but the rest of the story is her caring for Charlie, the kidnapping, investigation and trial. Betty Gow was a suspect and the questioning of her was ruthless. They tried to make her confess to being immoral, associating with criminals and even harassed her about the death of her brother. She was the last person to be with baby Charles before his disappearance so I understand the suspicion, but both Charles Lindbergh and his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh were positive that she had nothing to do with the kidnapping. Of course, the suspicion followed her and forever changed her life.

The story is told in the first person through Betty Gow, and took me through the time leading up to the kidnapping; the kidnapping and, the subsequent police investigations afterward. Betty returns to Scotland and is unable to find employment. It is two years later before an arrest is made and Betty goes back to the US to testify at the trial. There are many secondary characters in the book that were also involved in the real case, and many that fleshed out the story. I did find the story dragged at times, especially with all these characters. I wanted to learn more about the case and I did, but it was not gripping or thrilling as other reviewers stated. Mariah Fredericks does a wonderful job of mixing facts with fiction. She has done a through job researching this case to present us with an interesting historical who done it. Included in the author’s notes, she differentiates between the facts and her added fiction element. Overall, this was an interesting book, but it was just an okay listen. The audiobook was narrated by Penelope Rawlins. I’m not sure if it was her voice, or just the writing, but I found this story dragged and was hard to get into. If you are interested in this story, you will probably enjoy this book or audiobook.

The Widows of Champagne by Renee Ryan

Published July 1st 2021 by Harlequin

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Widows of Champagne was a WW2 story, but dealt with the survival of a family of women. Gabrielle Leblanc Dupree, her mother Hélène Leblanc and grandmother Josephine Fouché are living at and operating Chateau Fouché-Leblanc, a famous champagne house. When the German’s invade, the French Government handed over the region where they were located. An arrogant, former wine merchant moves into their home, but allows them to stay. Hélène has a secret, one that could cost them dearly. Gabrielle is hiding champagne so the family will have something to begin with when the war is over and also works for the resistance, and Josephine is losing her mind, but still able to gather information. Will the widows of Chateau Fouché-Leblanc survive the war? They must make some difficult decisions along the way as well as keep secrets from each other. I enjoyed this book, as much as you can enjoy a story about survival during WW2. The main characters were strong women, independent yet relying on one another. The nazis were portrayed as the greedy, evil men they were taking what they wanted no matter what. There is a hint of romance, which reveals itself at the end. This is a story of family, what you would do to survive and love of country. It is not as grim as other WW2 books, but it still shares a story that would have played out over and over.