My Father the Whale

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A vivid, beautifully imagined story about the lengths we'll go in order to belong

'Beautiful writing - tender and engaging. A wonderful novel' FAVEL PARRETT

'Gina Perry has written from the heart to create a story of tenderness, struggle and love' TONY BIRCH

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.


'Beautiful writing - tender and engaging. A wonderful novel' FAVEL PARRETT

'Gina Perry has written from the heart to create a story of tenderness, struggle and love' TONY BIRCH

'A heartwarming tale about yearning, belonging and finding oneself. Through the eyes of the memorable Ruby, Perry vividly recreates the rich and vibrant world of a child desperate to make sense of the strangeness of her life. With echoes of Sophie Laguna, My Father the Whale is a coming-of-age story, set against the vibrant landscape of childhood, filled with tragedy and joy. This is a novel that stays with you long after the last page is turned' MEREDITH JAFFE

'A standout work of literary fiction. It's understated, heartfelt, and ultimately a profound meditation on loss, love, and familial legacy ... The kind of book in which I could happily lose myself. Indeed, I did just that, and savoured every page' LAURIE STEED

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ISBN: 9781460762172
Publication date:
7 June 2023
Trade Paperback
Pages: 352