To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder

To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder

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, his seven-year-old sister, Trinity, was saved. As the public cried out for blood, Amanda was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to thirty-five years in prison.

Embarking on a seven-year quest for the truth, Rommelmann traced the roots of Amanda’s fury and desperation through thousands of pages of records, withheld documents, meetings with lawyers and convicts, and interviews with friends and family who felt shocked, confused, and emotionally swindled by a woman whose entire life was now defined by an unspeakable crime. At the heart of that crime: a tempestuous marriage, a family on the fast track to self-destruction, and a myriad of secrets and lies as dark and turbulent as the Willamette River.

“In To the Bridge, Nancy Rommelmann takes what many consider the most unforgivable of crimes—a mother set on murdering her own children—and delivers something thoughtful and provocative: a deeply reported, sensitively told, all-too-relevant tragedy of addiction and codependency, toxic masculinity, and capricious justice. You won’t be able to look away—nor should any of us.” —Robert Kolker, New York Times bestselling author of Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery

“How do you understand the not understandable and forgive the unforgivable? So asks one of the characters in this clear-eyed investigation into something we all turn away from. To the Bridge is a tour de force of both journalism and compassion, in the lineage of such masterpieces as In Cold Blood and The Executioner’s Song. Word by word, sentence by sentence, Rommelmann’s writing is that good. And so is her heart.” —Nick Flynn, PEN/Martha Albrand Award–winning author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

Title:To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

About Nancy Rommelmann

Nancy Rommelmann's most recent book, TO THE BRIDGE, a work of nonfiction about Amanda Stott-Smith, who dropped her two young children from a Portland bridge, will be published by Little A in July 2018

    To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder Reviews

  • PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    **Mild spoilers since it’s a true story and the outcome is public knowledge.**Seven-year-old Trinity and her three-year-old brother Eldon’s mother Amanda threw them off a ninety-foot bridge. Trini...

  • The Just-About-Cocky Ms M

    I rarely read “true crime” because so often the stories end up as cheesy Lifetime movies or Hollywood clunkers starring Harrison Ford in a moment of lèse majesté. The other problem I found in th...

  • Marion

    Waste of Ink & PaperThere'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'...

  • Heather John

    TO THE BRIDGE is stunning in its compassion and unrelenting reporting of what led Amanda Stott-Smith to drop her two young children from the Sellwood Bridge, killing her four-year-old son and seriousl...

  • Janelle

    Review to come ...

  • Lynda Kelly

    This was my Kindle First (or whatever they call it these days) choice for June. It's not often a true-crime book makes that list so I was delighted. I made a great choice. It's a fascinating tale and ...

  • Jennifer

    This was a book I got for free as part of Amazon Prime's "free book" of the month. (I think this program is called Kindle First.) These books can be hit and miss. Sometimes you get a real gem, but oft...

  • Jonathan Maas

    A difficult book - that is necessaryMany 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...

  • Sandy from Alaska Coln

    I would give this book a 3.5. I did find it interesting, but I felt the author went into too much details about things that had nothing to do with the story, but rather with the author’s own life. D...

  • Monisha

    I picked this up wanting to try to understand how any mother could want to kill her children. After reading this I am still wondering how. It's a detailed account of the life and struggles of the moth...