Tricia McKean's Reviews > The End of Normal

The End of Normal by Stephanie Madoff Mack
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Apr 16, 12

bookshelves: 2012, family-bookclub, non-fiction
Read from March 18 to 30, 2012

This book is very polarizing, I am excited to discuss it at my family's book club.
Stephanie Madoff wrote this biography about her life, as it related to Bernie Madoff-- her father-in-law.
The first third of the book is absolutely TEDIOUS. It details, in FULL, her life before Mark Madoff and their courtship. I don't know how anyone could find this part interesting, unless you really want to know the most mundane details of a person's life. What she ate, when she exercised, what shoes she wore on her first date with Mark (strappy sandals that cost more than a week's salary-- I HATE that I know that). Etc. Etc.
The last two thirds of the book detail the collapse of her life, as Bernie's scandal is revealed and her husband is implicated. This was very interesting to read, just because I didn't know very much about the whole ordeal to begin with. Her personal details added more light to the situation and were only mildly irritating. My sister thinks she is an absolutely spoiled, selfish, horrible person from how she relates her experiences through the book. I don't necessarily agree, although there is a lot of "me me me". But what do you expect, it's a biography.
She maintains her husband's innocence, to the end. It is very hard for me to condemn her husband, after reading about him through her eyes. My family is absolutely polarized on opposite sides of the fence concerning his innocence and guilt, but I can't make that leap to "guilty". Perhaps I don't have all the facts and this book truly biased me. I thought it was tragic-- what their family experienced, if he was actually innocent.
The end is hard to read. She is very selfish and hard to relate to-- when she is at Disneyland when her husband reaches out to her and she turns off her phone and then he commits suicide. Very very hard to read. And again, I thought it was tragic. I can only think that, if he WAS innocent, this is one of the worst things to happen to a human being and I felt truly disturbed by his hopeless suicide.
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