The End of Normal by Stephanie Madoff
I first saw Stephanie Madoff on 20/20 a few weeks ago doing press for her new book, The End of Normal. I think that we all can’t help but be entranced with a scandalous fall from grace, I know I can’t, and the Bernie Madoff scandal was the king! That man screwed up so many people’s lives, and did it in the most backstabbing of ways. However, hearing Stephanie Madoff talk about what the scandal did to her now deceased husband Mark Madoff, son of Bernie Madoff, is what really put the human element into the story for me, and I really wanted to read her book. What shocked me about her is how forthright she was on 20/20, not just digging for gold. She was angry and crying and swearing, it was sort of exactly what you would expect from someone whose husband had just killed himself. Stephanie Madoff was mad and upset and real, with good reason! I liked her immediately.
Her book, The End of Normal, is extremely good. The book is of course depressing. I was holding it together for a while after his death, until she started talking about how her children talk to the sky with the window open, because they think daddy can hear them. Then I really lost it!
Even if you aren’t in it for the human element, The End of Normal gives an exceptional look inside a really dysfunctional family. There is less business than you might expect, you are really only peering through the eyes of Stephanie the whole time: her personal experience with the Madoffs, her understanding of what happened, her memory. The story explains her history with the Madoffs, from the time her and Mark met, to finding out about Bernie, and up until present day. I highly reccomend it.
I cannot believe what Bernie Madoff put his family through and how hard it must have been, but at the same time I cannot wrap my head around Mark Madoff being feeling so saddened by it that he would need to take his own life. I guess that is the nature of sucidie, though, it’s not exactly a rational thing. To leave behind his soul mate, and two very young children, one practically a newborn is shocking, and god bless Stephanie Madoff for pulling her life together enough to carry on. I usually cannot handle really depressing stories, but Stephanie is a lesson in resilience of the human spirit. Great read!