Thursday, March 29, 2012

The End of Normal

The End of Normal: a Wife’s Anguish, a Widow’s New Life
By Stephanie Madoff Mack
Blue Rider Press, 2011. 253 pgs. Biography.

Stephanie and her husband, Mark Madoff, had a pretty posh life. But when Mark’s father, Bernie Madoff, admits that his successful wealth management company is a fraud (one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in US history), everything is turned upside down. This is Stephanie’s story of how they tried to cope with Bernie’s betrayal, investigations, death threats, and a ruined family name. Two years after Bernie’s confession the press still writes about Mark, but few believe in his innocence. To get away from the constant anxiety Mark takes himself out of the picture. Stephanie must then learn to live life as a widow and raise their two children on her own.

This was a very personal story, clearly illustrating Stephanie’s confusion and frustration with the people in her life, though I felt like she also confused me. Her views of people seemed to switch multiple times. She doesn’t bother to censor any of her conversations so be aware of heavy language. At times the author comes off as pampered and superficial which detracts from the fact that her family were victims. Overall I wasn’t terribly impressed, though if the Madoff investment scandal drew your attention this might be worth a read, at least for a different perspective.


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