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The End of Normal Hardcover – October 20, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Rider Press; 1 edition (October 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399158162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399158162
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (267 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"[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,

"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

About 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. She lives in New York City with her two children.

Customer Reviews

This is a beautifully written book full of pain and love and loss.
K. Unger
I pray for all the lives the Bernie has destroyed and think that the innocent people of the Madoff family should thank Stephanie for her story.
If you really want to know what it's like to have your entire world devastated, this book will answer your question.
Kathryn B. Reese

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

112 of 122 people found the following review helpful By K. Unger on October 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully written book full of pain and love and loss. It is a very personal look at the deepest pain caused by Bernie Madoff. Of all the many people that Bernie hurt and the pain and loss that he caused, those who suffered the most were his family. He took their money and their futures (as he did with many people) but he also stole their past and their foundations. I knew Mark and never for one minute believed that he had any knowledge of his father's evil until he confessed in December 2008.
Stephanie gives voice to the agony that she and Mark went through at the hands of Bernie, as well as how the media, bloggers, and public exacerbated that pain. Mark was unable to share his story with the public and very much wanted to let the world know his truth. I had hoped that he would one day be in a place emotionally and legally to be able to tell his story. Sadly, that was not to be, but Stephanie does a fantastic job of letting the world into their private space and painting a true picture of Mark.
The book also shows the heartache and pain that suicide brings to those left behind. Stephanie does an excellent job of conveying the questions, pain, and process that suicide of a loved one brings. Her journey is sad and her loss is real, but the book also manages to be a beautiful love letter to Mark and his children.
Thanks for writing this.
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66 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Kcorn TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The former Stephanie Madoff (she changed her last name to Mack) writes poignantly in The End of Normal about the details of how Bernie Madoff not only ruined the financial lives of so many but also shattered his family's life. Tainted by the accusations that Andy and Mark, Madoff's sons, were part of the swindle, the two were shunned and judged by society - as was Stephanie.

Now Stephanie tells her side of the story - and it is a book which I picked up with reluctance and couldn't put down. Why reluctance? Because our family, while luckier than many, had a portion of our investments lost to Madoff. Just thinking about anything "Madoff related" made me feel angry.

But I'm glad I overcame my reluctance and gave this book a chance .Stephanie's writing allowed me to see another perspective. Imagine marrying a Madoff son and not having an inkling that the father was masterminding a scheme of such monstrous proportions. After all, Madoff fooled so many,including some very prominent people. As Stephanie describes it, he also kept his sons...and the dark. ironic and eventually how sad...actually sharing the same birthday with Bernie Stephanie does. Imagine living with a shattered shell of a man, Mark Madoff, the husband Stepanie once knew as happy and vibrant. Stephanie Madoff Mack brings it all to life for readers and I could see how her seemingly dream life dissolved in an instant.

Based on at least one comment on a review of this book, there are those willing to condemn anyone connected to a Madoff, including his daughters-in-law. But why? Bottom line- I did find Stephanie's account to be credible.

After all, her own stepfather lost money to Madoff and Stephanie's husband was...
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By elpee on October 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The financial fall-out from the scam perpetrated by Bernie Madoff claimed many victims and many of their tragic stories have been heard: people's lives turned upside down, crushed and ruined, some with no hope of recovery. Bernie Madoff is in prison, but there is no answers for those who have been hurt beyond measure. One victim, silent until now, is Stephanie Mack Madoff, the widow of Mark, Bernie's eldest son who took his own life. And if you scoff at her being a victim, then you must read her's truly heartbreaking. I picked it up out of curiosity and I was blown away.

I've often wondered, (and I'll bet you have too what it must have been like to be a member of the Madoff family...this book brings it home: It is filled with intimate details of Mark and Stephanie's courtship, their marriage (including the rough patches), their daily life, Mark's devotion to his children from his first marriage and their two children together. Stephanie discusses her relationship with both Ruth and Bernie....where credit is due she gives it e.g. both Ruth and Bernie were loving grandparents.) The mind boggles! She comes across as totally sincere, totally honest, and totally devastated by the betrayal and what it did to her husband and her family. Put yourself in her place...there is no training for enduring the nightmare that her life became.

But this is also the story of her husband Mark who, because of the legalities involved, was never able to publicly stand up for himself and deny the accusations of his involvement in the debacle. Again, I urge you to read about him from Stephanie's perspective...her passion for you to know Mark as she knew him is palpable. There is also the description of the children and how they're coping with Mark's death.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bette C Miller on October 23, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I personally have followed the Madoff saga since it broke in December, 2008. Also,
I'm from South Florida so there's a connection here and as I understand, Ruth now lives about 5 minutes from me.

First of all, I admire Stephanie for writing this and how hard it must have been. Too often, the media judges people and in this case, all too true. I personally felt Mark and Andy could have been totally in the dark and I believe they were. They grew up knowing wealth - why would this be questioned?

I find Stephanie to be honest in telling the story especially when she is away, turning off her cell phone, saying she has had enough - can you imagine how she feels/felt? Then, he cries out for help - it would haunt me forever.

I came away from this feeling that there is no one who probably knows the real Bernie Madoff - maybe in his own mind, he liked to please and felt he was doing so but giving those who invested huge returns and so in his own warped mind, he felt they were being paid back but who knows?

What is interesting is that the part of the company that Mark worked at was actually sold for a profit - interesting that the media never talked about that part of it. Behind each person there is a family who is suffering - I think of Mark's children also and how they must be suffering as well.

Thank you for honoring your husband's memory so well.
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