An explosive, heartbreaking memoir from the widow of Mark Madoff and daughter-in-law of Bernard Madoff, the first genuine inside story from a family member who has lived through - and survived - both the public crisis and her own deeply personal tragedy.
When the news of Bernard Madoff 's Ponzi scheme broke, Americans were shocked and outraged, perhaps none more so than the unsuspecting members of his own family. After learning that their father's legendarily successful wealth management company was "all just one big lie", Mark and Andrew Madoff turned their father in and cut off all communication with both parents.
Mark and his wife, Stephanie, strove to make a fresh start for the sake of their two young children, but Mark could not overcome his sense of betrayal and shame - he and other family members were sued for $200 million in October of 2009. He hung himself on the two-year anniversary of his father's arrest. Left to raise her children as a single mother, Stephanie wrote this memoir to give them a sense of who their father really was, defend his innocence, and put her personal statement on record once and for all.
In this candid insider account, she talks about her idyllic wedding to Mark 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. It is about the loss of the fairytale life she knew, adjusting to life with a man she hardly recognized anymore, and the tragic and final loss of her husband.
©2011 Stephanie Madoff Mack (P)2011 Penguin
Just the fact that it was very interesting. She gave a lot of insight as to what the family was all about and how much his children were hurt by his actions. I really felt bad for her husband and how her and her children were treated by his mother.
Stephanie and her husband.
How greed destroys!
Say something about yourself!
I have recommended the book to a friend but with a huge caveat.
The ending was already well known, so there were not any surprises. It was sad, of course. In most cases, loss of life is not a victory.
I believe that narrating her book was therapeutic for Stephanie. As for me, I didn't need the co-therapy and would have enjoyed a professional narrator.
No. I personally would not purchase a follow up book. I'm through. Too much therapy for my liking.
Stephanie's attempt to portray herself as a penniless Cinderella is not believable and collides with her admission that an attorney was hired to protect her assets. If she didn't have any assets in the beginning of the marriage and her husband/father-in-law did not funnel dirty money to her during the marriage, what assets were in need of protection? She was quite angry toward Ruth as she did not immediately sever ties to her husband of 50+ years. According to Stephanie's perspective, Ruth was blinded by denial surrounding Bernie, the crook. However, Stephanie exhibits the same characteristics in her relationship with her husband, whom she claims was a mere innocent bystander, as well as victim, of the tragedy caused by his father. It was hard for me to conjure up sympathy for the poor rich kids who had become adults. There are too many unacknowledged questions which Stephanie chose to leave alone. I will add that I appreciate the review by another reader who said the story was troubling on many levels. It is and that is very accurate. I continue to be bothered by what I learned -- and did not learn -- through this book.
I appreciated Stephanie's ability to be real and to not hold back details, nor emotion, when sharing her story. I'm grateful she narrated it, because I feel it made it more authentic and interesting. I was always eager to listen to more and was never bored.
This most powerful moment in the book was when she revealed the details of her trip to Disney World with her daughter, on the day of her husband's death.
A love story turned into a tragic death.
This has been one of my favorite audible books, because it is REAL life, which is something I appreciate in a book and an author. Thank you Stephanie for your courage in sharing your story.
Audio all the way
Stephanie ... her strength
Her emotion in her voice. You could feel her strength as well.
What happen to the children in this family is a travesty let alone what Madoff did to the country. Stephanie did good writing & reading this.
There is nothing better than to hear the author read her own story.
Living with greed and its effect on mental health.
The truth of the Madoff story will not be known for decades. Stephanie Madoff Mack tells a personal and very difficult tale from her own perspective and experience. I enjoyed listening to this book and feel very badly for all the people whose lives have been so very damaged by the actions of Bernie Madoff.
Karen of Northern Michigan
Listening to this story left me feeling very sorry for Mark Madoff getting to the point of such desperation that he took his own life and for Stephanies loss, as well as her childrens, but at the same time, left me wanting to say to Stephanie, "Oh boo hoo... You were left with an apartment, houses and more money to live on than you need..how many woman have had to start over with absolutely nothing?"
Having said that, it is an interesting story. If you've ever wondered about what it's like to live like a Madoff, this will give you a glimpse into that kind of lifestyle..
After listening to it, I really doubt that Mark, or his brother, knew what his father had done. I don't think they were a party to it and really just a victim like all Madoff's other victims. It's too bad he was judged and treated so harshly by the media and the public for what his father did.
Stephanie, on the other hand.. hmmmm....you know how some people just have that sound to their voice? Like they're part of the elite population? That's what her voice sounds like.. It annoyed me.. She comes from money, although, it doesn't sound like she was brought up filthy rich, but she obviously had more than the average American growing up.
She sounds very angry at Marks mother for standing by Bernie Madoff.. I found this disturbing.. She's a young woman who has decided that she knows more about life than her older mother in law.. Seems like a lot of young people these days think they have all the answers. But it isn't that simple. Ruth has been with Bernie since she was a young woman in her teens.. What Bernie did was horrible, but you can't tell Ruth to turn her feelings off just because you think she should be able to.. Stephanie just kind of seems like a person that can hold a grudge for a very long time, and will.
Having said that, I do feel sorry for Stephanie.. I wonder how much of her complaining about the situation helped to push Mark over the edge, but at the same time, I totally understand that sometimes life situations push you so far you become someone you don't want to be. And I wonder how much guilt she is living with knowing she could have maybe handled her anger a little differently, especially the last night of Marks life.. It kind of sounded like she expected Mark to make this all go away and resented him for getting her mixed up in it. She also seems to have put a lot of blame on Ruth for Marks suicide, thinking that if Ruth had left Bernie, Mark would not have been driven to do what he did... One has to think he still would have felt the same pressures and it probably would have ended the same way.
I guess I just came away feeling she's a bit of a spoiled rich girl..
Actually enjoyed listening however there was NEVER anything "normal" about their life in the first place. Married into unbelievable wealth and supposed love, questionable. Agree with another reviewer, husband truly a wimp. Life is stranger than fiction really fits the bill with this one. Shallow & spoilt, therapists featured endlessly, often laughable. When the going gets tough this family implodes, making this an epic case of money is the root of all evil. Found it all amusing, more like the end of prestige, wealth and a whole lot of lies.
Probably not but I would definitely recommend it.
The description of Stephanie's life before and after the Madoff scandel.
A Shattered Life
I enjoyed learning more about B.Madoff and his family. An inside look into the family.
What a pity the husband took his own life....if only he had waited...it would have got better and he could have moved on. If he was innocent, people would have understood, and he could have made a great life for himself but without all the rich trappings.
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