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The End of Normal

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,936 Ratings  ·  381 Reviews
A memoir of the author that tells her idyllic wedding to Mark, Bernard Madoff's son, 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.
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by Blue Rider Press (first published October 1st 2011)
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A Street Cat Named Bob by James BowenThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankThe Freedom Writers Diary by Erin GruwellAre You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea HandlerNight by Elie Wiesel
True Stories I've Loved
10th out of 76 books — 9 voters
Hausfrau by Jill Alexander EssbaumThe End of Normal by Stephanie Madoff MackI Love You, Miss Huddleston, and Other Inappropriate Longings... by Philip GulleyThe Girl Who Walked Home Alone by Charlotte ChandlerFriendship and Afterwards by Daniel Gothard
New Adult / Anti-romance
1st out of 12 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 11, 2013 Lynnette rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jo Anne B
Oct 30, 2011 Jo Anne B rated it it was amazing
When I first started reading this book I almost put it down. To think any of the Madoff's deserved sympathy from anyone when they destroyed so many other people's livelihoods was absurd. Reading about their fairy tale lives full of lavish, extravagances that they knew nothing other than was nauseating. But I put aside my initial judgmental feelings and anger and continued on. The truth of the matter is that Mark Madoff, Bernie's son, was innocent of any wrongdoing. But his life was torn down and ...more
Jan 25, 2012 TinaB rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography-memoir
I went into this book knowing about the back story and scandal of the Madoff's and with the knowledge that the family was and still is extremely wealthy, so I was prepared to enter into this life of glamour and luxury and knew that things in it would probably seem ridiculous to a non-millionaire like me. I guess what intrigued me to read this was the idea of seeing inside the Madoff scandal through the eyes of the widow and the aftermath of Madoff's decision to end his life. What surprised me th ...more
May 12, 2014 Linda rated it did not like it
I wish I could give it zero stars. The author was married to Mark Madoff. Mark was the son of Bernie Madoff and Mark committed suicide 2 years after Bernie's scheme unraveled. Stephanie and Mark had been married for 6 years and had two children.
She has the gall to claim that Mark "was the greatest casualty" of his father's fraud. If only her editor had let her finish her sentence the way she wanted, it would have continued to read "and next to Mark, nobody suffered more than me." She spends the
Sep 23, 2015 Sheri rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Holy guilty pleasure. This is definitely a quick read (under 24 hours around here) and very compelling and interesting. That is not to say I completely bought it.

The best lesson to be learned from this book is one of perspective. I'm not going to read Ruth's book, but I'm sure if I did she would have a compelling story of her own to tell. Stephanie is a spoiled princess (but of course she wouldn't see herself as such): she complains that she was one of the poorest girls at her elite NYC high sch
Becky Sandham Mathwin
Dec 10, 2011 Becky Sandham Mathwin rated it it was ok
I ending up reading this book because for whatever reason the whole Bernie Madoff case has always been sort of intriguing to me. While it wasn't dull and I found some of the revelations about the Madoff family interesting, I really didn't care for Ms. Madoff Mack (she was married to Mark Madoff, the Madoff son who comitted suicide). She seemed somewhat spoiled and superficial. I thought it was very tacky and unnecessary that she trashed her deceased husband's first wife (the mother of his oldest ...more
Nov 09, 2011 Michelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, memoir
Unique look into a slice of the Madoff world. Stephanie Madoff Mack is the widow of Mark, son of swindler Bernie, who died at his own hand. Her story is heartbreaking but she is almost too generous to her husband, which I understand, but this approach didn't allow the reader to see the full spectrum of her feelings. He tries to kill himself once and eventually succeeds and she paints their marriage as very happy and rosy. There is an entire year she glosses over between the first attempt and the ...more
Jan 08, 2012 Jenn rated it really liked it
Sad. Just a sad, sad situation. I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book considering what Stephanie's father-in-law, Bernie Madoff, had done to his investors. However, I found Stephanie's account to be...honest. She didn't try to hide her short-comings or smooth over her emotions or make it sound like she was a saint. Maybe she'll have regrets later, but she wanted to tell her husband's and her story after having to stay quiet for so long, and she did.

Don't get me wrong - some of it is
Stacey Buono
Oct 25, 2011 Stacey Buono rated it it was ok
I was really interested in reading this book because I do believe that Mark Madoff was another one of his father's tragedies. I found Stephanie from the very beginning to be negative and extremely self centered. Even before the fraud was exposed, she painted herself as jilted and a victim. I cannot imagine what it is like to be in her or her children's shoes and I truly feel sorry for both. I do, however, think that she has painted an unbecoming picture of herself with this book. If her intentio ...more
Jaclyn Day
Jan 02, 2013 Jaclyn Day rated it really liked it
I’ve found memoirs to be touch and go in general, but I was especially wary when starting this book because I wasn’t sure how Mack would approach the subject matter…and I wasn’t sure what route she would take with her story. If you aren’t very familiar with every detail in the Madoff case, you may assume that Mack perhaps knew about her father-in-law’s massive Ponzi scheme, or that she was kept in the dark but her husband, Mark Madoff (Bernie’s son) knew about it. Neither is true. Like everyone ...more
Oct 23, 2012 Barbara rated it liked it
Well written depiction of one family member's perspective. But I would give the book 3 stars instead of 5 stars. I came away feeling as if Stephanie lives in a plastic bubble in some respects. First off, most people who might find themselves in this kind of situation would have to scramble around and find a job to make ends meet. It seems that is not the position she is in, and for that, she should be forever the Madoffs. Instead, she spends a lot of energy trash talking. I'm sure ...more
Nov 30, 2011 Tricia rated it it was ok
She is a piece of work! I obviously feel badly that she lost her husband, but she pretty much blames everyone for everything, besides herself of course. First she hates her in-laws, then they are wonderful grandparents and then she hates them again. Sometime on the same page it seems.
Nov 14, 2011 Shantelle rated it it was amazing
The End of Normal reads like fiction. Stephanie Madoff does a beautiful job vindicating her late husband, Mark Madoff. Her emotions are raw, but honest, which makes this book very emotional and hard to put down. I have gained a lot of respect for Stephanie and I feel she has no reason to lie. Bernie Madoff not only stole from thousands of people, but he duped her own parents out of their savings as well. I’m sure that writing this book was not easy; she takes the reader into her very personal li ...more
Jun 15, 2012 Eileen rated it it was ok
Fairly well written but the author seemed so caught up in her fantastic NYC lifestyle that she came across as really furious with her father-in-law for ruining that for her when he got caught. She did do a great job of describing the anger that is associated with grief, especially after a sudden death, but I think she just wanted to punish everyone, including her husband for what happened. In retrospect I think she had a chip on her shoulder before she ever married Mark Madoff regarding his rela ...more
Jun 11, 2015 Lindz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My husband was getting ready to leave for Iraq while most of this was going down so I was busy and missed a lot of this.

The way she depicts Mark and Andrew is almost completely opposite than a lot of other in depth pieces depict them. It's almost the other way around in most pieces. Somewhere there is truth but I doubt we will ever know.

If only he would have been able to hang up that life and move away to start a new somewhere like she urged.

I am surprised she stayed in NYC after he died.

I don'
Karen McCready
May 07, 2013 Karen McCready rated it really liked it
Shelves: made-me-cry
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 05, 2011 Tina rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
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, includi ...more
Jim Ainsworth
Dec 20, 2013 Jim Ainsworth rated it liked it
Yep, that Madoff, as in Bernie’s daughter-in-law. If you have not heard of Bernie Madoff, you probably might not be interested in this memoir. Or maybe you live on another planet. Or you never heard of a Ponzi scheme. As he spends the rest of his life in prison, Madoff’s name will probably loom as infamously large in investing history as Ponzi’s has.

Madoff understood greed and capitalized on it and the ignorance and naivete of his investors. What is amazing is that so many wealthy, otherwise in
Nov 04, 2011 Stacey rated it liked it
I was very interested to read this story about what it must have been like to live in the shadow of such a monumental event in our history. I was prepared to feel sympathetic towards the sons and their families. However, I found that as I was reading I was not very fond of Stephanie. She struck me as incredibly self-centered - only able to see the breakdown of this family for what it had done to her. The oversimplification of Ruth Madoff seemed silly - it appears irrational to have expected Ruth ...more
Nov 21, 2011 Viv rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographical
Yes, just like everyone else, I am sick of hearing any news about Barnard Madoff. His heartless Ponzi scheme destroyed many, many people and their families; his horrible swindle put many financial professionals' jobs at risk, including my husband's. People became so wary and dubious with almost any type of financial professionals. And we all quickly to judge that everyone in the family is in this for at least 3 decades, no doubt about it.

But Bernie Madoff's daughter-in-law, Stephanie Mack had b
Mar 17, 2013 Dawn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Wow! I can only imagine being the person who knows that their greed for money and power destroyed their family right down to the smallest grandchild. I feel so sorry for this family who was left to deal with the trickle down effects from this man's greed. It is too bad that his son could not get past the speculation that he was in on his father's lies and betrayal because he really did have so much to live for in his children. I think it takes a lot of courage for Stephanie to write about her tr ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Serge rated it did not like it
While what Bernard Madoff has done is reprehensible. It's even more reprehensible to turn against their father like their sons did!

I understand they had to turn him in, but was turning against him the way they did "normal"? Not only that, but they and their wives" crucified" their mom for having contact with a husband of 50 years!

Normal, salt of the earth, people don't shut out their parents even if their parents are convicted murders and rapists! Rich, privileged, rotten kids are the one who
Jan 05, 2012 Merrillee rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up twice before finally deciding to grab it. So glad I did! What an incredible book I read it cover to cover in about 8 hours. It is a beautiful love story with a tragic ending. It sickens me that the media has the ability to hold a persons integrity in question to the point it can smother someone and make them feel as if there is no other option. I went into this book thinking 'poor privileged people' with a hand caught in the cookie jar. I came out of it thinking how lucky I ...more
Jeanne Morigeau
Oct 29, 2011 Jeanne Morigeau rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal
ug! I ordered this from Amazon and once it arrived I was unimpressed right away. Nowhere on the cover does it let you know that it was co-authored. Stephanie and the writer really portray her like a dime store romance novel heroine - the language is that sappy. Oh, she blows up from time to time, but she is always right and always gets her way. I'm not going to pass judgement on anyone involved with the scandal, but this is a poorly written, nauseating book. I only finished it because of a morbi ...more
Mar 04, 2012 Yancey rated it liked it
The wiring certainly isn't going to win her any prizes, but I'm sure no one is reading this for its literary value. It was interesting... Clearly her husband was a tormented soul, probably even before the scandal broke. But every time I started to feel sorry for her, she would tell some story that erased the sympathy. You wandered the streets of NY with a shopping bag filled with containers of your husband's ashes... sad. But then you were running late for a conference at your daughter's school, ...more
Dec 29, 2011 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing book. Stephanie is a strong woman who has had to deal with a lot. I can't even begin to imagine the pain she has felt first from her father in law's deception of the financial world and then from her husband Mark's suicide. I want to think that they, Stephanie and Mark could have somehow worked it out and truely lived happily ever after and got rid of the demons that Bernie had envoked on them but I think that Mark took the easy way out. He was a coward and by committing suic ...more
Nov 07, 2011 Kim rated it it was amazing
This was a very good book. I devoured it from cover to cover in under 24 hours, which is rare for me these days with keeping up with all my kids activities, etc.! I will admit that I knew nothing of the Madoff fiasco other than what I occasionally saw on the evening news. I have no doubts that Stephanie's husband was completely innocent in the wrongdoings that his Father took part in. She did an excellent job of telling the story & I hope that she, her children and everyone that was affected ...more
Feb 13, 2016 Christine rated it it was amazing
I was very intrigued with this real life story and couldn't put it down. There are people who gave one star because they thought Stephanie was a spoiled brat. What if she was? The book told HER perspective, not some pleasing-to-the-public account of what happened. So if one day she loved the Madoffs and one day she didn't, I'd say she was living in a REAL family! If she was used to living a certain lifestyle and that changed, well, that'd be lousy for anyone. Why would Stephanie being on foodsta ...more
Lieta Sutton
Sep 03, 2015 Lieta Sutton rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle Robinson
Jul 16, 2015 Michelle Robinson rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a well written book. That does not necessarily mean that one will like the author.

She tells her story with honesty, even to the detriment of how she may be perceived. She comes across as very self centered, whiny, and actually describes some actions that come across as adult tantrums. (She throws down dishes in anger when she does not get the proposal that's she wants).

I do believe this is an honest retellings of the Madoff scandal from her point of view. I don't think anyone would pai
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