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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.

Twins share a special bond, a connection that can’t be put into words. Margaret Harrod shared that bond with her twin brother Michael. Inseparable as children, they both  gave their lives to the Catholic Church at age 22, Margaret becoming a nun and Michael a Salesian priest.

Now the brother Margaret adored is in jail after pleading guilty to multiple child abuse charges, and the unlikely whistleblower was Margaret, 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 the extraordinary story of how the brave nun took on the church, fighting for more than a decade to bring paedophile priests to justice, including her own brother.

'Margaret Harrod's compelling life experience is a truth we all need to understand.' Chrissie Foster, author of Hell on the Way to Heaven

Photograph © Sue Smethurst

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.

Photograph by Alana Landsberry/Bauer Media

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.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia (March 1, 2020)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781925533354

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