My Father the Whale

Perry, Gina

A vivid, beautifully imagined story about a father and a daughter, and the lengths we’ll go in order to belong.

For nine-year-old Ruby, travelling the country with her charismatic father Mitch and busking for a living is the only life she’s ever known. Mitch has been the centre of Ruby’s world since she was a baby, and much as she’s curious about her mother who died soon after Ruby was born, talk of her is taboo.

When repairs to their ageing Kombi strand them in a small coastal town, Ruby is drawn to the town and its people and gains a glimpse of family life starkly different to her own. But when Mitch is ready to leave, Ruby is caught between her loyalty to her father and the safety of the place that’s offered her a taste of normal life, causing a rift between them that will take years to heal.

When Mitch sweeps back in town and into Ruby’s adult life, his arrival is like a tidal wave, bringing more questions as Ruby grapples with the legacy of her childhood. For her, the only way forward is to confront the past and the secret of a mother Ruby’s never known… and what Mitch was escaping when he set out for a life on the road.

Sometimes the family you need is the one you choose.