This book in one word: heartbreaking. That being said, I really liked this book. In The End of Normal: A Wife’s Anguish, A Widow’s New Life, Stephanie Madoff Mack pulls no punches when telling her family’s story. Her father-in-law was Bernie Madoff, the man who cheated billions of dollars out of people in the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. Stephanie was married to Bernie’s son, Mark, who turned him in. In spite of this, Mark and Stephanie’s family was not exempt from the hatred and accusation of everyone around them. Many people believed that just because Mark was Bernie’s son, he was somehow involved in the scandal.
Hearing Stephanie’s side of the story was fascinating. She talks about how she and Mark tried to move past the tragedy and the steps they were taking to do so. They had discussed changing their last name to distance themselves from the Madoff name. (Stephanie did this and Mark planned to before he died.) Sadly, the scandal was all-consuming, and Mark couldn’t see a way out.
I listened to the audio version of this book, which is read by Stephanie Madoff Mack. She was a good reader, and it really helped bring the story to life. I’d highly recommend this book if you like to hear an insider’s story of how people can transform their lives after a tragedy.
For another point of view into the Madoff scandal, try Truth and Consquences: Life Inside the Madoff Family by Laurie Sandell.