Cringingly sad account of the fall of the house of Madoff by the second wife of the eldest son.
A former assistant to designer Narciso Rodriguez, the author married Mark Madoff, a senior manager at Bernie L. Madoff Investment Securities, in 2004. She settled in for a comfortable marriage and motherhood in their tony Soho loft and enjoyed a close relationship with Mark’s family—even though she had to jostle for her own place in the “pecking order.” In fact, she was seven months’ pregnant with their second child in December 2008, when her father-in-law confessed to his two sons that “it’s all one big lie” and that he was going to give out Christmas bonuses early in order to circumvent authorities before he had to turn himself in. However, the sons went to the feds first, and even though “they had no proof, no documents, no insider knowledge,” they convinced the authorities that “the King Midas of Wall Street” was a fraud. The author reveals that she knows very little about the financial shenanigans of her father-in-law, only that Bernie was practicing a shameful Ponzi scheme; she maintains a kind of childlike distance from it all. She and Mark remained mystified and resentful that Bernie’s wife would stand by her husband rather than take their side, and she reflexively insists that her husband knew nothing of Bernie’s private fund, despite investigations to the contrary. Mark’s suicide in 2010 only compounded the suspicions around him.
A tertiary and not-terribly-sympathetic character tells her side of this modern-day Shakespearian tragedy.