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The End of Normal von Stephanie Madoff Mack
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The End of Normal (2011. Auflage)

von Stephanie Madoff Mack (Autor)

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1085201,568 (3.58)1
The widow of Mark Madoff and daughter-in-law of Bernard Madoff presents an insider's account as an unsuspecting member of the family associated with the audacious Ponzi scheme, describing her idyllic marriage, her belief in her husband's innocence, their ordeals at the height of the media frenzy and her husband's tragic suicide.… (mehr)
Mitglied:ringthebell
Titel:The End of Normal
Autoren:Stephanie Madoff Mack (Autor)
Info:Blue Rider Press (2011), Edition: 1, 272 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
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The End of Normal von Stephanie Madoff Mack

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From the day I heard that Stephanie had written this book, I wanted to read it. She does a great job providing a closer look at this family from her perspective. Although this is a tragic story, I found it somewhat amusing at how cavalier she was about all the vacations, homes and possessions they had. Nobody can really know why Bernie Madoff's sociopathic behavior took on the proportions it did. Delving into his roots and the foundation of his illness would be a great read. But Stephanie is a brave soul, and makes no bones about the fact that she thinks her in-laws are guilty of murder. ( )
  Mona07452 | Oct 23, 2020 |
I had mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it is well-written and Stephanie's determination to clear her husband's reputation shines through on every page. She is open about her anger and bitterness toward her former in-laws. Sometimes this comes across as petty; she dishes on the personal failings and flaws of the whole family.

This is all understandable, and arguably good. But Stephanie herself doesn't come across as particularly likeable. She is open about her mistakes and flaws, which helps her narrative. But she also has a level of entitlement and cluelessness that is jarring. She worked with JFK, Jr., not because she was qualified, but because he knew her step-father. She worked for a fashion designer (who is probably famous in that world) because a friend knew him. While all of this was happening, she owned three beautiful houses, vacationed in Florida and the Caribbean, and didn't have a job. She is understandably furious that Bernie Madoff cheated her family out of money and destroyed her life and her husband's reputation. The people whose lives were utterly ruined by him seem a vague abstraction.

Reading between the lines, her drive to defend Mark's memory seems to be fueled in part by guilt. It's clear that their marriage was troubled. She has full-on Obliger Rebellion; he is passive and conflict avoidant. They seem to have spent most of their six years of marriage in therapy. She rages and blows up in foolish ways. He hides his suicidal thoughts. She was at Disney World with their young daughter when Mark finally took his life, after several days of texting in which she made it clear that she was not interested in hearing about current legal problems. I read a lot of her writing as retroactrively casting her marriage as a fairy tale romance.

So, a medium book, probably better for those who already know the outlines of the story. ( )
  teckelvik | Jun 10, 2019 |
Fascinating quick read. While I'm sure it was unintentional, Stephanie portrays herself as mean-spirited, selfish, and self-centered. Unfortunately, the children are the victims of this dysfunctional family. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |


A slightly interesting insight into the Madoff family. Not very well written. ( )
  lunule | Aug 22, 2014 |
Stephanie Madoff Mack had it all: homes in Soho, Greenwich and Nantucket, a doorman, a dog walker, reliable childcare for her two beautiful children, a handsome rich husband who adored her, a famous even wealthier father-in-law, luxury cars, nice clothes. Then in December 2008, her father-in-law Bernard Madoff, confessed to his two sons that his entire life and business was a giant lie. The rest is history. Thousands of people lost millions of dollars from "investing" with Bernie Madoff, including Stephanie Madoff's own step-father.

Over night all members of the Madoff family became pariahs, hounded by the FBI, the SEC, and the media. Mark and Andrew, Bernie's two sons, were the ones who turned their father in to the FBI, but no one would believe that the sons had not been involved in the fraud. As lawsuits piled up, and bankruptcy loomed, Mark and Stephanie faced total isolation, and became estranged from the rest of the family who refused to sever relations with Bernie. Mark spiraled down into a deep depression and attempted suicide. After his failed attempt, he went into counseling and seemed to be recovering.

Two years to the day from his father's arrest, Mark hanged himself in the Soho loft, while his wife and daughter were in DisneyWorld, and his son slept in the next room. His final texts, sent on December 11, 2010, at 4:14 a.m., while Stephanie slept, simply said: Please send someone to take care of Nick and I Love You. Suddenly Stephanie's life was totally upside down. Now she not only had no money, no job, and myriad legal problems, but she had no husband, and her children had no father.

I was hesitant to listen to this in audio, although it is a format I really enjoy, because the author reads this herself. I thought it might be self-serving, or whiny, but it's not. It's a straight forward account of a young woman's change in circumstances and how she is dealing with the problem. Oh. Yes. there is certainly some rancor toward her mother and father -in law. There is certainly still an unsteady relationship with Mark's brother Andrew. And yes at times it is difficult to feel sorry for someone who still has a dog walker, nice cars, a doorman, and several houses. But she is very clear that all that privilege does not make up for being deprived of Mark's presence. She tells her story, from the beginning of her relationship with Mark, to their early days together, meeting the senior Madoffs, their wedding, early days of marriage and pregnancy and parenthood.

She is bluntly honest about the trauma and terror of the days following finding out about the Ponzi scheme, and her anguish as she watched the agony her husband and brother-in-law went through trying to convince the world that they were not involved. Her animosity toward her mother-in-law Ruth Madoff is especially well documented. She relates her panic at receiving those last two text messages from her husband, her frantic efforts to get her step-father to gain access to the apartment home to check on her son, and the subsequent flight home and how she had to explain to her 4 year old daughter that "daddy had a boo boo in his brain, and it made him die, and now he's in the sky and you can talk to him anytime you want. He can't come home but he's there for you anytime you want to talk to him."

She ends by reading from the first paragraphs of Mark's unfinished book that he had begun writing before his death. He wanted desperately to vindicate himself, to recapture the respect he felt he'd earned by all his hard work, and that he'd lost because of his father's transgressions. Her heart-felt passion is at once emotional and composed. No matter whether the reader believes that the sons were involved or not, and no matter what other financial tragedies that Bernie Madoff unleashed on the world, this story is a compelling personal one that presents a story needing to be told.

Penguin sums it up in their press release: "Stephanie Madoff Mack has written this at once searing and poignant memoir in order to tell her husband’s story—for him, for their children, and for the world."

Ms. Madoff gives us just enough emotion to be able to understand her feelings, without having to wallow in them. ( )
  tututhefirst | Nov 5, 2011 |
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For my children, Audrey and Nicholas, and in loving memory of my husband, Mark D. Madoff
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Every night before going to sleep, I put a fresh towel down on my side of the bed, knowing it will be drenched with perspiration by the time I bolt awak, precisely and without fail, at 3:51 in the morning
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The widow of Mark Madoff and daughter-in-law of Bernard Madoff presents an insider's account as an unsuspecting member of the family associated with the audacious Ponzi scheme, describing her idyllic marriage, her belief in her husband's innocence, their ordeals at the height of the media frenzy and her husband's tragic suicide.

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