Seeing Geoffrey Rush play his father Harold in Swimming Upstream, written and co-produced by his brother Tony, was the catalyst for John Fingleton to uncover the story no one had told, of what made his father the man he was. Nothing could have prepared him for what he discovered. By the age of eleven when Harold was not out desperately foraging for food for himself and his sisters he was trying to avoid the regular beatings doled out by his drunken and abusive mother Maggie - until he was forcibly removed to a state orphanage. The treatment he endured there and from Maggie haunted him forever. From abused child to rebellious orphan, larrikin street fighter to gifted sportsman, prisoner to alcoholic, from unlikely role model to a group of strret kids to murder suspect and finally a man transformed by the love of a strong woman, determined his children would have the opportunities he never had, Harold Fingleton's heartbreaking and powerful story will stay with you long after the last page.
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