The End of Normal: A Wife's Anguish, a Widow's New Life

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An explosive, heartbreaking memoir from the widow of Mark Madoff and daughter-in-law of Bernard Madoff, the first genuine inside story from a family member who has lived through- and survived-both the public crisis and her own deeply personal tragedy.

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 ...

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The End of Normal: A Wife's Anguish, A Widow's New Life

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Overview

An explosive, heartbreaking memoir from the widow of Mark Madoff and daughter-in-law of Bernard Madoff, the first genuine inside story from a family member who has lived through- and survived-both the public crisis and her own deeply personal tragedy.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Cringingly sad account of the fall of the house of Madoff by the second wife of the eldest son. A former assistant to designer Narciso Rodriguez, the author married Mark Madoff, a senior manager at Bernie L. Madoff Investment Securities, in 2004. She settled in for a comfortable marriage and motherhood in their tony Soho loft and enjoyed a close relationship with Mark's family--even though she had to jostle for her own place in the "pecking order." In fact, she was seven months' pregnant with their second child in December 2008, when her father-in-law confessed to his two sons that "it's all one big lie" and that he was going to give out Christmas bonuses early in order to circumvent authorities before he had to turn himself in. However, the sons went to the feds first, and even though "they had no proof, no documents, no insider knowledge," they convinced the authorities that "the King Midas of Wall Street" was a fraud. The author reveals that she knows very little about the financial shenanigans of her father-in-law, only that Bernie was practicing a shameful Ponzi scheme; she maintains a kind of childlike distance from it all. She and Mark remained mystified and resentful that Bernie's wife would stand by her husband rather than take their side, and she reflexively insists that her husband knew nothing of Bernie's private fund, despite investigations to the contrary. Mark's suicide in 2010 only compounded the suspicions around him. A tertiary and not-terribly-sympathetic character tells her side of this modern-day Shakespearian tragedy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399158162
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/20/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephanie Mack is the widow of Mark Madoff, who she married in 2004. In December 2008, her father-in-law, Bernard Madoff, was arrested for operating the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Stephanie worked previously at George magazine and for the fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez, and since 2009 has been pursuing a master's degree in Child Life. She lives in New York City with her two children.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 181 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(111)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(20)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 9, 2011

    I Highly Recommend It

    This book was both very easy and very difficult to read. The writing style made it a quick, easy read. However, the content was heavy, personal, believable, and sad. I commend her for writing it. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of reading it.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 26, 2011

    Riveting!

    Such a well told & even handed book. It didn't seem sensationalized in any way. You felt every one of her emotions from beginning to end. I couldn't put it down...finished it in a day.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 23, 2011

    I'm glad she wrote this.

    If you've been following this saga then you will find this perspective touching.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it! - A must read

    A compelling and heartbreaking story. Couldn't put the book down. I admire her strenght and her eagerness to move forward for her own and her children's sake. I wish her the best and I hope she can find happiness again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Although I have not finished the book, what I have read has left

    Although I have not finished the book, what I have read has left me astounded. As a person who has also lost a loved one, the realness in the emotions she relates about her grief and loss are so intense that I could feel them surging through me again. She writes with an open heart and lets the reader see deep into the tragedy of her family. Stephanie has done a wonderful and mesmerizing job and I would like to commend her for the strength and courage that she had to rally to put her and her husband Mark’s story down for everyone to read and realize that they are victims to Bernie’s betrayal just the same, and that the “one big lie” engulfed and deprived an undeserving husband and father of his life. This is Mark’s story intertwined with Stephanie’s and I’m sure like many before me, I can not put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011

    Tragedy

    Well written....yet such a very sad story. I feel for Stephanie and her children.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2011

    good book

    well written.

    glad she wrote it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2011

    Excellent - A Must Read

    Very compelling and heartbreaking. Stephanie's honesty is to be admired. Very well written and hard to put down. God bless Stephanie, Mark and their children.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    I read this book in 15 hours! I couldn't put it down! there was

    I read this book in 15 hours! I couldn't put it down!
    there was a real family living in this bed of lies.

    I couldn't imagine such cold cruel

    people who carried out life but were hiding sooo much.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 25, 2013

    okay

    have only skimmed though this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2013

    I adored her complete honesty throughout the book. I think some

    I adored her complete honesty throughout the book. I think some people think that a person's story should be told with a degree of ability to look at things from all sides. Honestly, I prefer the raw honesty Stephanie gives. No matter what the objective truth is, her reality is that her husband was deeply wounded by his father's lies. She tells it like it is and like it was, and I now look forward to reading Andrew Madoff's book to see his and Ruth's reality. I don't think anyone intentionally lies when telling their story, I think they just see things from their own limited perspective. Just like we all do.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2012

    Makes me see another side of the story... not only the thousands

    Makes me see another side of the story... not only the thousands of
    victims- but his own flesh and blood were victims as well. How to cope
    when your entire life is a fraud and a father is truly not the man you
    had thought he was. Great read.

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  • Posted May 16, 2012

    Recommended

    I am glad that Stephanie Mack was able to tell her side of the story. I don't agree with some of the readers' opinions that she is selfish. She was honest and yes, flawed, like every other human being. I say, good for her, for having the courage to write a book about such personal experiences. I hope that she and her family can move on and be happy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    This book was really interesting . i read this book 2 days reall

    This book was really interesting . i read this book 2 days really enjoyed , it really was the end of the normal .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 28, 2012

    One of the best books I have read, choked me up more than once a

    One of the best books I have read, choked me up more than once and gave me goosebumps at times. An incredible sense of truth and honesty throughout the entire book, a difficult story told extremely well. My heart goes out to Stephanie as well as her and Mark's children.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    Great Book

    Well written, very interesting. Loved it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Highly recommended reading!!

    I could not put this book down!
    Stephanie Madoff's account of her life with Mark Madoff is both sweet and heart-breakingly sad! I applaud her for being brave enough to write such an honest book.
    I came away with a lot of respect for Stephanie and her family and what their lives have been like since the horrible Bernie Madoff scandal came to light.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 3, 2012

    A Woman's Story of Loss and Love

    Stephanie Madoff Mack doesn¿t hold back her thoughts, emotions, and shares private moments in her family and the Madoff family. I read online that Stephanie was often asked by interviewers why she chose to write a book 6 months after the death of her husband¿.almost as if it wasn¿t appropriate because not enough time had passed. In my opinion, Stephanie choosing to write this book during that time was actually quite cathartic for her, helped her share her most intimate thoughts without holding back, and gave her a platform to show to the world who her husband really was. In doing this, she was also able to reveal the inner struggles Mark ( her husband) experienced as a result of his father¿s crime and the devastation it caused to her, Mark, and his children.

    No longer the protector, the buffer, the one Stephanie could turn to who also shared in her grief and anger over Bernie Madoff¿s crime, she is left alone to pick up the pieces and continue the fight for justice as she works to clear Mark¿s name against any wrongdoing the media tried pinning on him and his brother, Andrew. As Stephanie Madoff Mack shares her story, she unknowingly gives a voice to those left behind from suicide. She shares the pain she experienced, where she was when ¿it¿ happened, and the struggles and challenges she experienced with the Madoff family. Stephanie is very raw and open as she describes the anguish, anger, betrayal, and loneliness of being a widow and mother to two small children.

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  • Posted December 1, 2011

    A Bestseller

    Stephanie is an inspirational woman. She stood by her husband through the rough and tumble of the Madoff scam. I have no doubt in my mind that someday she will heal fully and find a genuine peace. I'm sure Mark is looking after her and very proud of his wife. THIS BOOK WILL BE A NATIONAL BESTSELLER IN NO TIME. Good luck Stephani, you will be in my prayers.

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  • Posted November 21, 2011

    AMAZING

    I absolutely LOVED this book! I do not really spend my time reading books but when I saw a preview about it in one of the magazines I happened to pick up and read the short article I knew I had to get the book. Just by reading the magazine article I wanted to know more and I could not wait until the next day to begin reading. This story is very touching since it is actually told by Stephanie herself and not someone telling the story for her. After reading, I truly admire her strength to overcome and deal with difficult situations. Stephanie seems like just an everyday down-to-earth mother and wife thrown into the mix of a horrible family lie by her father in law. I would highly recommend this book if you are interested in stories such as this one. I found myself not being able to put the book down, I read the book so fast that it left me feeling like I wished the book was never-ending. Hope my review has helped!

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