This spring Mrs. Madoff was sued by the trustee liquidating her husband's company. According to Business Week, "U.S. marshals seized the $7 million Manhattan home Ruth Madoff shared with her husband in the year after the fraud was exposed in 2008. Marshals sold the Madoffs’ Montauk, New York, home for $9.4 million. Ruth’s 14-carat diamond earrings sold for $70,000 in a Manhattan auction, and her 1999 Mercedes Benz went for $30,000." Her son Mark committed suicide and her entire family is implicated because money from the investors was going directly into their personal accounts. CBS News reports that Ruth Madoff now lives with friends in Boca Raton, where, “She lives very frugally. She spends virtually nothing.” She cut off all contact with her husband after Mark's suicide and has said, “at night it gets to me — the shame, the disgrace, all the stuff that killed Mark.”Enter best selling novelist Erin Hilderbrand. In her latest book, Silver Girl, Hilderbrand takes on the Ruth Madoff (Meredith Delinn) story as a beach romance and gives us an ending where Bernie (Freddy Delinn) gets to rot away in prison while everyone else is vindicated in their innocence. All the usual beach romance elements are here. We have the weathered Nantucket beach house, the BFFs who haven't spoken in years yet are there for each other when it counts, the handsome rugged boyfriends (both new and old), the laughter and the tears. Move Ruth Madoff from Boca to Nantucket and there you are.
The surprising thing is that as a novel Silver Girl works. It was only after I put the book down that my feelings of guilt and anger began to surface. While reading I felt sorry for Meredith and her BFF Connie. I cried and laughed and was happy when it all worked out cleanly and neatly for everyone in the end (of course everyone gets the guy they love and there is lots of healing and forgiveness for all involved, except Freddy). But in the end I felt dirty, slimy, and somehow implicated in the whole scandal simply by reading this book.