x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

The End of Normal: a Ponzi widow's tale

There's a perversity to the tawdry, and seemingly irrelevant, revelations by Stephanie Madoff Mack, the widow of Mark Madoff, son of the notorious US businessman.

The End of Normal
Stephanie Madoff Mack
Penguin
Dh128
The End of Normal Stephanie Madoff Mack Penguin Dh128

The End of Normal is a memoir by the widow of Mark Madoff, son of the notorious American businessman who defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme.

Sadly, Bernie Madoff's eldest son took his own life in late 2010, two years to the day after his father was arrested, leaving his wife and two young children to face "life after Bernie" alone.

That's no simple task. Both Bernie's sons worked for him and, presumed by many to be complicit in their father's crimes, were smacked with lawsuits and hounded by the media accordingly.

In her book, Stephanie Madoff Mack declares her husband's innocence while offering what little insight she can into his death. "'Was my life real', he would often ask."

She recounts a Cinderella-style courtship and fairy-tale wedding, but then descends into airing her grievances against certain Madoff relatives. In revealing plastic surgery secrets and petty power struggles, it seems like Mack is taking cheap shots.

Emotions are clearly raw and, while that makes for juicy reading, there's also a perversity to it, given the tragic catalyst.