I felt that Attraction was filled with so much raw emotion. There is a lot of guilt and angst as the main character reflects on their relationships.
The narrator is actually unnamed making it a bit hard to connect to the book the way I would have liked. They are also not all that likable. However, I was still intrigued and wanted to know more about past relationships and history.
The writing offered a well-paced story that I don’t feel dragged at any point. I struggled with some choppy writing that felt a bit disjointed at times, which led to the three-star rating for me. The setting for Attraction is New Zealand, which I always enjoy reading about. This story offered a great New Zealand setting as the plot surrounds a road trip through the country. I liked reading about the locations and some of the history referenced.
The story features three women who are taking a trip together for some family time. As the trip progresses, there is a lot of reflection on relationships. The emotional baggage that comes with a deteriorating love story was portrayed really well. I enjoyed that the perspective was discussed for both LGBTQ and heterosexual relationships.
I would recommend Attraction for readers that enjoy a story with less plot and more beautifully written prose. If you enjoy an exploration into a character’s thoughts and feelings, this would be a great book for you.
Where to Find This Book:
Attraction by Ruby Porter is available at these sites.
The present reckons with the past in Attraction, Ruby Porter’s debut novel.
Three women are on a road trip, navigating the motorways of the North Island, their relationships with one another and New Zealand’s colonial history. Our narrator doesn’t know where she stands with Ilana, her not-quite-girlfriend. She has a complex history with her best friend, Ashi. She’s haunted by the spectre of her emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend. And her period’s now weeks late.
Attraction is a meditative novel of connection, inheritance and the stories we tell ourselves. In lyrical fragments, Porter explores what it means to be and to belong, to create and to destroy.
‘Attraction peels back the landscape to reveal deeper truths. The writer is right inside her material – a road trip that delivers a political and sexual coming-of-age narrative. The book is a slow-burning fuse that brims with intensely felt experience. Porter is an exciting new talent.’―Lloyd Jones
‘Attraction abounds with sharp imagery, intergenerational relationships and the natural, historic and domestic environments of modern New Zealand. Ruby Porter is a gifted new writer.’―Patricia Grace
‘Attraction is an exquisite story…The prose is emotive and artistic…Attraction is impossible to put down…It is a brilliant, beautiful novel.’―Booksellers NZ
‘A coming-of-age story that is full of evocative sketches of the North Island’s landscapes.’―Traveller magazine
‘Tackling a complex, fraught topic – the very essence of what it is to be a New Zealander – with courage, style and insight.―Stuff New Zealand
‘Not a word is wasted. Imagery is of the sharpest level. There is so much to love about this angry, meditative novel that reading it is almost an act of catharsis.’―The AU Review
‘Porter’s style is spare, immediate and pared back…[A]n intriguing new voice.’―Overland Literary Journal
Just the Facts:
Attraction by Ruby Porter
Genre: Women’s Lit
Page Count: 288 pages
Publisher: Text Publishing Company
Pub Date: April 14, 2020
Ruby Porter is a tutor of creative writing at the University of Auckland.
She has been published in Geometry Journal, Aotearotica, Spinoff and Wireless, and a selection of her poetry is available on NZEPC. In 2018, she also won the Wallace Foundation Short Fiction Contest.
I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.