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
( 179 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(110)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(20)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 180 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Brilliant

    This book was so personal and told in such a touching way from a wife, mother, daughter-in-law and unfortunately, young widow. I found every word she wrote to be believable and told out of a great love for her husband.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

    Tragic, raw, and heart wrenching story of a couple...then widow's fight against the Scarlett Letter their family carries because of the evil of one man's horrific actions

    This is truly a story of love, heart-break, and tragedy. Stephanie shares her experience with a rawness and authenticity rarely found in non-fiction. I highly recommend. It is riveting. You feel in the moment as you read.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

    Must Read

    Refreshing truth in a bed of lies. A love story and tragedy an hope all in one.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2011

    Undecided with 120 pages to go....

    Okay so I never write reviews, but this book has me prompted me to do so. I purchased the book for Nook immediately after watching the interview on ABC. I have yet to finish the book, but some things about it just really bother me. First of all, although I appreciate the honesty for her feelings pertaining to the ex-wife...she comes across at times as just plain bratty and selfish. Then I reached the whole letter from Bernie incident and was prepared to be appalled just like when she recounted it during the interview. Well, the full letter is not included in the book but it is available online and while I do not in any way condone what Bernie did, the full letter does seem to convey a sense of regret over what he has put the family through and he also expressed a deep love for his sons, in the interview she stated that the letter made her sick to her stomach and she doesn't think she even showed it to Mark. I just believe if the full story is what she would like to tell, then the full letter should have been included. Maybe it is farther into the book...I so wanted to like her and while I do feel deep compassion for what she has gone through in losing her husband. I am unable so far to feel too badly for someone who seems to be, for all intents and purposes still living a fairly privileged life.

    5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Totally honest

    Very good story line. Glad to find out the truth instead of listening to the media. Read the book in 24 hours.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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 22, 2011

    Riveting

    I was facinated by this story. I read the book in 24 hours. Knowing as I read that this was all a true story in the eyes of this mother, wife, daughter, and widow astounds me

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

    Loved

    I really loved this book.....such an amazing woman

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    great

    Great read, touching story. finished it in a few hours

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Could not put it down...

    This book was well-written and felt honest. I applaud the author for being forthcoming and opting to tell a side of the Madoff tragedy that has been repeatedly downplayed in the media circus. This book was hard to put down. Hopefully, it will remind people of the other true losses that Bernie caused - the ones that do not begin with a dollar sign. Even though the financial losses were horrific, the toll on innocent people was much worse.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2011

    Very honest

    This book gives a different insight into the devastation that media and public perception can bring. It was a courageous step to share these events and hopefully it will remind people that things arent always how they seem.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Well Told, Heartfelt

    This well laid out and not tabloid fodder of pretend reality. It's about relationships, tragedy, and putting the pieces back together. It's not how the ponzi scheme worked or why Bernie Madoff did what he did. I believe anyone who has had a tragedy happen in their lives will relate to this book. It is sooo not about the money; it is life's tragic turns that leave you reeling and totally unprepared for the ricochete.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    The End Of Normai

    I read this book with trepidation. It tells the story of a man with no conscience who had everyone fooled for a very long time. I have doubts that Mrs. Madoff wasn't aware of goimngs on but I believe the assertion that Mark & Andy were not aware. If you want to get the basic info on this story I recommend you read it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2011

    Wonderfully Written

    I thoroughly loved this book. Yes, it was sad but I really felt like I was listening to a best friend while reading this. The book is very well written and gives the reader a detailed look into the Madoff's privileged life. Stephanie's portrayal of Ruth and Bernie Madoff is so eerie and I felt sick when she described how unemotional and remorseless they both were prior, during, and after the scandal broke.

    Very tragic story but I think she did a beautiful job of writing a book that her children can be proud of after all they have been through.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2011

    I couldn't help but cry when I read this book. God bless them.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

    Bittersweet

    Loved her story even though it had a painful ending.

    2 out of 2 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

    Fascinating

    A story of how often in life, things are not exactly as they appear. I am impressed by this woman for surviving so much, maintaining her voice and sharing her painful truth with readers.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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