A heartfelt, brave and inspiring memoir about the power of speaking out.
A brave nun. Her twin brother. The secrets and lies that would tear them apart.
There is a special bond that twins share, an ethereal connection that can’t be put into words. Margaret Harrod shared that unique bond with her twin brother Michael. As children they were inseparable and at age 22, together they gave their lives to the Catholic Church. Margaret became a nun and Michael a Salesian priest – it was the proudest day of their deeply religious parents' lives.
Margaret cherishes those carefree childhood memories because the brother she adored is now in jail. Father Michael Aulsebrook pleaded guilty to multiple charges of molesting children, some as young as seven. And the unlikely whistleblower was his courageous twin sister.
It cost Margaret everything, but she couldn’t stay silent any longer about the damage her brother was wreaking in his community. Margaret knows of that damage firsthand, having had that trust betrayed herself.
Blood on the Rosary is Margaret's story – how she sacrificed everything she held dear in the pursuit of the truth, and how she bravely fought her church and her community to bring paedophile priests to justice.
'Margaret Harrod's compelling life experience is a truth we all need to understand.' Chrissie Foster, author of Hell on the Way to Heaven
Sue Smethurst is a senior journalist with The Australian Women’s Weekly. She has spent 20 years in media working across television, radio and magazines. Her career has taken her around the globe interviewing the likes of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Kylie Minogue, Olivia Newton John and Christopher and Pixie Skase. In addition to her editorial career Sue has worked on and off camera with A Current Affair and Sunrise, and spent five years as a commentator with Neil Mitchell on 3AW. Blood on the Rosary is her seventh book, and her book Behind Closed Doors was a finalist for the 2016 Sisters in Crime Davitt Awards. Sue lives in Melbourne with her husband and two children.
Margaret Harrod leads by example. Despite years of abuse, the former nun, who went on to become a much loved teacher, does not view herself as a victim but as an empowered woman who has managed to grasp her life with both hands in order to be able to reach her dreams. Throughout her healing journey, Margaret held fast to her dream of assisting other women. After leaving teaching she became a crisis supporter and advocate at Lifeline before establishing a successful life coaching business specialising in empowering women who’ve suffered sexual abuse. She is passionate about challenging her clients to recreate themselves and achieve their dreams. Margaret has been married to Rod for 27 years and lives in Canberra. They have two grown up children.
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