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

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

4.2 181
by Stephanie Madoff Mack
     
 

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

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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

From the Publisher
"[An] explosive memoir...[Madoff Mack] reveals what it was like to marry into the Madoff family and how she coped when it imploded." -People

"[P]erhaps the most truly 'insider' account of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme to date...engrossing from the start...Madoff Mack's account contains personal details that make the book worth reading....[F]ascinating."
Clare O'Connor, Forbes

"[A] moving and revealing memoir...Stephanie finally tells her side of the story."
Nanette Varian, MORE.com

"The End of Normal gives an intimate account of Mark Madoff's two years of torment over the infamous swindle that wiped out thousands of investors and-by his wife's account-left him a man broken beyond repair."
Tom Hays, Associated Press

"This is a love story wrapped up in a news story, and that's tricky to tell, because there is a really deep bond between these two people, Stephanie and Mark....Stephanie is just coming forward because she wants people to hear her, and her husband's, version of what their life has been. It's as pure and as simple as that."
Chris Cuomo, ABC's 20/20

"The End of Normal is a riveting account of life inside the Madoff family as it self-destructed.-Stephanie tells her personal story with stark candor and startling courage, and in the face of tragedy, she exudes an undaunted spirit for the sake of her children. This is a heartbreaking tribute to a beloved husband, and a stunning read."
Linda Fairstein, New York Times bestselling author of Night Watch

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)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

The End of Normal is a riveting account of life inside the Madoff family as it self-destructed. Stephanie tells her personal story with stark candor and startling courage, and in the face of tragedy, she exudes an undaunted spirit for the sake of her children. This is a heartbreaking tribute to a beloved husband, and a stunning read.”
- Linda Fairstein, New York Times bestselling author of Night Watch

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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The End of Normal 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Christine72 More than 1 year ago
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.
leesie More than 1 year ago
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.
ABookAWeek More than 1 year ago
If you've been following this saga then you will find this perspective touching.
jessylynn More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written....yet such a very sad story. I feel for Stephanie and her children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
well written. glad she wrote it.
CMD627 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
60 More than 1 year ago
have only skimmed though this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RosyRose More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was really interesting . i read this book 2 days really enjoyed , it really was the end of the normal .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JessikaB More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, very interesting. Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sneps More than 1 year ago
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.
Baneng81 More than 1 year ago
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.
Kate100 More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago