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When the news of Bernard Madoff 's Ponzi scheme broke, Americans were shocked and outraged, perhaps none more so than the unsuspecting members of his own family. After learning that their father's legendarily successful wealth management company was "all just one big lie", Mark and Andrew Madoff turned their father in and cut off all communication with both parents.
Mark and his wife, Stephanie, strove to make a fresh start for the sake of their two young children, but Mark could not overcome his sense of betrayal and shame - he and other family members were sued for $200 million in October of 2009. He hung himself on the two-year anniversary of his father's arrest. Left to raise her children as a single mother, Stephanie wrote this memoir to give them a sense of who their father really was, defend his innocence, and put her personal statement on record once and for all.
In this candid insider account, she talks about her idyllic wedding to Mark on Nantucket, what it was really like to be a part of the Madoff family, the build-up to Bernard's confession, and the media frenzy that followed. It is about the loss of the fairytale life she knew, adjusting to life with a man she hardly recognized anymore, and the tragic and final loss of her husband.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Curatina on 11-23-11
Somewhat interesting, but dreadful narration
Unfortunately, the author chose to narrate the book. Her voice is nasal and annoying.
I will give the author credit for not making herself a heroine. She comes across as a very difficult person who behaves selfishly many times.
The book presents a skewed view on the exposure of Bernie Madoff. This author flatly says that the two sons exposed their father, but other accounts I have read of the affair have described the investigation differently.
One does develop a sympathy for Mark Madoff and the sad end to his life, but other than gaining insight into the what propelled him to take his own life, the book does not add much information to what is already known. Most everyone in it, including the author, appear to be rather shallow, mean, and materialistic.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Beje on 04-13-14
Haunting, At Best
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
I have recommended the book to a friend but with a huge caveat.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
The ending was already well known, so there were not any surprises. It was sad, of course. In most cases, loss of life is not a victory.
What didn’t you like about Stephanie Madoff Mack’s performance?
I believe that narrating her book was therapeutic for Stephanie. As for me, I didn't need the co-therapy and would have enjoyed a professional narrator.
Do you think The End of Normal needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
No. I personally would not purchase a follow up book. I'm through. Too much therapy for my liking.
Any additional comments?
Stephanie's attempt to portray herself as a penniless Cinderella is not believable and collides with her admission that an attorney was hired to protect her assets. If she didn't have any assets in the beginning of the marriage and her husband/father-in-law did not funnel dirty money to her during the marriage, what assets were in need of protection? She was quite angry toward Ruth as she did not immediately sever ties to her husband of 50+ years. According to Stephanie's perspective, Ruth was blinded by denial surrounding Bernie, the crook. However, Stephanie exhibits the same characteristics in her relationship with her husband, whom she claims was a mere innocent bystander, as well as victim, of the tragedy caused by his father. It was hard for me to conjure up sympathy for the poor rich kids who had become adults. There are too many unacknowledged questions which Stephanie chose to leave alone. I will add that I appreciate the review by another reader who said the story was troubling on many levels. It is and that is very accurate. I continue to be bothered by what I learned -- and did not learn -- through this book.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful