To the Bridge
The case was closed, but for journalist Nancy Rommelmann, the mystery remained: What made a mother want to murder her own children?
On May 23, 2009, Amanda Stott-Smith drove to the middle of the Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Oregon, and dropped her two children into the Willamette River. Forty minutes later, rescuers found the body of four-year-old Eldon. Miraculously, h...more
Seven-year-old Trinity and her three-year-old brother Eldon’s mother Amanda threw them off a ninety-foot bridge. Trinity’s cries alerted near by residents who rescued her. Eldon did not survive. Amanda later plead guilty to aggravated murder and aggravated attempted murder to avoid the death penalty.
Journalist Nancy Rommelmann attempts to deconstruct what caused Amanda to kill gathering information from Amanda and her ...more
There's not much in this book you can't find doing some Googling on the Internet. Heavy on reruns of already published information and devoid of anything new except for the author's opinions and a few quotes from the son of the murderer at the very end of the book. She pretty much glides right on past the two central issues of the story: domestic violence and related meth/drug abuse.
I've read true crime books for over 30 years, and this was the most mediocre book in the genre ...more
I noticed that author Nick Flynn blurbs TO THE BRIDGE, placing the work alongside two highly impactful books, “In Cold Blood” and “Executioner’s Song.” The Mailer is remarkable in its toxic masculinity but also in the access he had to show a life, ...more
The book is about a case in Portland, Oregon where a mother dropped her two children off of a bridge in the middle of the night. One child survived ... the other drowned. The mother was arrested and ultimately put in jail f ...more
The mother in this story threw 2 of her 3 children off a bridge in the middle of the night. The author tries to find out why, tries to discover details beyond the headlines. And she does s ...more
It's rare I feel a jot of sympathy for the criminal in any case but I did feel pretty sorry for ...more
Sadly the structure of this book didn’t work for me.
We started pretty quickly with the crime revelation, then seemed to be struggling to fill in the following chapters.
I found it was back and forth from friend to family member account to first person and back, quite confusing!
I began skim reading before the middle (never a good sign!) and gave up completely at 60% - easier to google it! I couldn’t see any information here that wasn’t easier to find on the internet. ...more
Many true crime books have an element of adventure to them. A mobster rises in the ranks, a serial killer is hunted by a detective.
To the Bridge by Nancy Rommelmann is not one of those books. There is no joy, no thrill, no happy ending.
I am reminded by Koba the Dread by Martin Amis - the biography of Stalin. There is no nobility in the tale, and all the reader does is root for someone to come along and prevent the antagonist from doing what they set out to do. ...more
Another person who got this through Amazon's First Reads.
- Occasional compelling narrative of the the toxic relationship between the couple and account of the crime and rescue.
What's not so good:
- Unfortunately too much. The author just places herself throughout the story. The word I is on each page, and she plants herself into every interview and every place. She's not part of the story, has no relationship to the crime, nor the participants, and in a true crime story should be the ...more
The author did a good job telling this story. Sometimes true crime stories can get a bit boring with transcripts and trial testimony. This book flowed nicely.
Unfortunately, this is a sad story about so many messed up people.
Amanda is where she deserves to be "prison". I do believe she has some form of mental illness but she knew right from wrong. Not like in the case of Yates, who is severely mentally ill.
The thing that really makes me mad is that Jason was not held responsible fo ...more
But if on the other hand you want to know why a young mother would throw her children off a bridge in the middle of the night and leave them to drown, then pick up this book. Rommelmann lived this story for many years, and this is evident in how she tells it. With compassion yes, but also with a sharp eye that refuses to turn away when the facts do not fit our narrative. A ...more
I don't remember hearing the news reports about Amanda Stott-Smith throwing her two children off of a bridge in Oregon. But apparently, in 2009, she did. Her 4 year-old son, Eldon, died, but her daughter, Trinity, survived. Amanda ends up pleading guilty and she is currently serving a life-sente ...more
I think the majority of us accept that the mother must be insane to do that but still questions linger. Where was the dad, her family, her friends? Could anyone have seen this coming? Could anyone have stopped this from happening?
Nancy Rommelmann presents a compelling case that there was plenty of warning signs that this family was barreling towards tragedy. ...more
This book is thought-provoking and, despite it's dark content, a quick, compelling read. I thought at times it could have been edited differently because some of the tangents made it really hard to follow - though Rommelman does the concrete, interlocking vignettes well, a style of writing I personal ...more
Rommelmann writes for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the LA Weekly, among other publications
She is the author of the novel THE BAD MOTHER (2011), THE QUEENS OF MONTAGUE STREET, a dig ...more