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Publisher's Summary

An Australian mother's love, the power of the Catholic Church and the fight for justice over child sexual abuse.  

Chrissie and Anthony Foster were like any other young family, raising their three daughters in suburban Melbourne with what they hoped were the right values. Chrissie could not have known that the stranger-danger she feared actually lurked in the presbytery attached to the girls' Catholic primary school. 

Father Kevin O'Donnell, a long-term paedophile, lived and worked there. Two of their young daughters became victims of O'Donnell. And once the truth was revealed, the Fosters began a battle to find out how this could have happened. 

The Church offered silence, lies, denials and threats. Meanwhile, their daughters tried to piece together their fractured lives.  

This is the chilling true story that made national and international headlines. Chrissie Foster's heartbreaking account of her family's suffering, and their determination to stand up for themselves against the might of the Catholic Church, is testament to the strength of a mother's love and the resilience of the human spirit.

©2010 Chrissie Foster and Paul Kennedy (P)2019 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"We would never have achieved (a national apology) without Chrissie’s bravery and tireless advocacy." (Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard)

"By speaking out against child sexual abuse, Chrissie helped out victims find their voice and gave them strength. Because of Chrissie, our nation is changed for the better." (Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria)

"Many people would have been destroyed by that suffering. Many would have been overwhelmed by what they saw. But the Fosters did not let this happen." (Justice Peter McLellan, Royal Commissioner)

What listeners say about Hell on the Way to Heaven

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Thank you

I have never written a review before as always thought tedious and no one would care what I thought anyway; this may still be the case but this book is essential reading for all of us. It is hard to read. Very hard. I have shed so many tears. It is now November 2019 and I understand there is still an argument over compensation to victims, especially those that have a criminal record. I thought that unfair before I read this book. I now find it insanely cruel. As Emma was quoted, she had been taking drugs since she was 5 years old! Now George Pell is in jail. He is still claiming his innocence, his first appeal has failed. It is so clear to me he is guilty. Yet George still has support from ex prime ministers and some loud voices. This is perplexing. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you

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A must read!

This was a very well written and spoken account of the absolute horror that so many families have faced and are currently facing from the Catholic Church. Chrissie, my heart absolutely breaks for you and too all those families suffering due to the church and their people. You’re a brave, wonderful woman and this is a book that I believe needs to be discussed at all schools. Although, extremely difficult content and a upsetting story. I am greatly moved by this book and would recommend this to everyone.

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Empowering

One of the most heart felt stories that I have ever listened too! Chrissie you amaze me how you faced each day. The Catholic Church absolutely disgust me.

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  • Kent
  • 28-07-2019

Extreme Courage

This book will be transformational as it is so honest and raw. Child abuse is the scourge of our Nation and the truth must prevail. It should always be about justice for the innocent victims and the abusers must not be protected. Thank you Chrissie for sharing your personal hell and I stand in solidarity.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.