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Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo
Contemporary fiction

Ties That Tether

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Jane Igharo, on your first book!

by Jane Igharo

Quick take

An unexpected love story that asks: What happens when being the perfect daughter means betraying your own heart?

Good to know

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    Fast read

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    Multiple viewpoints

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Why I love it

Helen Hoang
Author, The Kiss Quotient

As a second-generation Vietnamese-American, I heard my mom’s “coming to America” stories countless times while growing up, but they never grew boring. I always wanted to know more. What was it like adjusting to a new country and new culture? What was it like entering an interracial relationship with my dad? Ties That Tether offers a revelatory glimpse into this type of immigrant experience—from a Nigerian perspective.

After immigrating to Canada, Azere is under pressure from her family to marry a good Nigerian man and preserve her culture. But when her mother’s latest matchmaking attempt results in another poor fit, Azere rebels and finds herself in bed with a handsome stranger who also happens to be white. As their relationship grows unexpectedly serious, she’s forced to confront her family and their expectations while navigating her own concept of cultural identity.

A Nigerian-Canadian herself, Igharo writes her Nigerian characters with such love and vivid personality that it was impossible for me not to connect with them, especially Azere’s stubborn mother. I think Azere’s struggle to find her own voice amidst the conflicting pressures of family expectations and society makes this a particularly heart-touching read, one that will resonate with most people.

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At 12 years old, Azere promised her dying father she would marry a Nigerian man and preserve her culture even after immigrating to Canada. Her mother has been vigilant about helping—forcing—her to stay well within the Nigerian dating pool ever since. But when another match-made-by-mom goes wrong, Azere ends up at a bar, enjoying the company and later sharing the bed of Rafael Castellano, a man who is tall, handsome, and white.

When their one-night stand unexpectedly evolves into something serious, Azere is caught between her growing feelings for Rafael and the compulsive need to please her mother who will never accept a relationship that threatens to dilute Azere's Nigerian heritage.

Azere can't help wondering if loving Rafael makes her any less of a Nigerian. Can she be with him without compromising her identity? The answer will either cause Azere to be audacious and fight for her happiness or continue as the compliant daughter.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Ties That Tether.

Member thoughts

All (6131)
All (6131)
Love (3052)
Like (2591)
Dislike (488)
6223 ratings
  • 49% Love
  • 42% Like
  • 8% Dislike
  • Aurora , CO

    Captures the struggle of blending two cultures together while ensuring the preservation of both. Zere’s internal turmoil (with splashes of Rafael’s) beautifully illustrate the balance of love and duty

  • Blaine, MN

    Igharo perfectly captures the inner turmoil of making difficult choices between family, culture, love and what’s best for oneself. Fear and hope fight for the spotlight and Azere’s strength inspires.

  • South Orange, NJ

    The connection between Azere and Rafael is electric. As a child of immigrant parents, I could relate to Azere’s struggles to maintain her family’s cultural identity & still fit in to her new environme

  • Pacific Grove, CA

    The cover art promised a great book, and the author delivered. Loved the story and all the Nigerian references. I even started watching the show “Skinny Girl in Transit”. Quick read, lovely book.

  • Little Falls, MN

    Loved the cultures represented in this book. I really learned a lot about the Nigerian culture. The romantic comedy references were everything, and you couldn’t help but hate Azere’s mom throughout!

  • Burlington , KY

    This was an enjoyable read. What do you do when you’ve promised your dying father, you will marry within your culture. But, have a one night fling with the a charming, handsome, unforgetable stranger.

  • Clawson, MI

    I loved the connection between the two lead characters and the representation of different cultures in one relationship. I feel like this book isn’t getting the attention it deserves! Highly recommend

  • Eugene , OR

    I loved the story of Azere and her navigating her culture, her family and her heart. I loved the chemistry between Azere and Rafael. I thought it was a good love story and I’m glad I finally read it!

  • Amarillo, TX

    This book captured my attention from the beginning and I couldn’t put it down until I finished! It helps give some insight on cultural identity and making major life decisions. I absolutely loved it!

  • Andover, MA

    Absolutely loved! Azere’s story is incredibly relatable, and so fun to watch play out (especially as a rom-com/Tangled fan). Great perspective of how two cultures can blend to embrace a better whole.

  • carlsbad, NM

    I thought this is just a romance which I love but Jane Igharo really captures what it is like being the child of an immigrant and them not wanting you the lose the culture of home. It's a great story.

  • La Verne, CA

    I cannot lie. I love a good love story, including this one. There's nothing hokey or eye-roll worthy found in this book. It's a complicated love story about culture, identity, family, and finding one'

  • Atlanta, GA

    I will never understand what it is like to be an immigrant, but this book has really opened my eyes to some of the struggles they face. I am glad Jane decided to share her story with us, I am changed.

  • Bolingbrook, IL

    I could not ask for more in a book. Family, culture, destiny, and love. This book encases all. There were twists that i wasn't expecting, and yet i loved. I could not stop reading until i finished it.

  • Lakeville, MN

    How do you choose between love and the family? How can you retain your own cultural identity when raising a family with a man from a different culture? This sweet tale tackles this journey beautifully

  • Morgantown, WV

    This was a book in the style of your favorite romcom/romance, and I loved every second of it! I especially loved the context of exploring how tough it can be to blend culture while still retaining it

  • Boise, ID

    A good romance with likable characters. Had a lot to say about being an immigrant, and trying to hang on to your culture while also assimilating. I felt like I learned a bit and gained some empathy

  • West Reading, PA

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and devoured it in 2 days. The writing style sucked me in. I found the characters likable and the story intriguing. A great book that looks at culture, family, and love.

  • Columbus grove, OH

    It captivated me to read about a woman who struggled with choosing between her family and the man she loved. Her family meant everything to her the guy was her soulmate. I enjoyed reading her journey

  • West Babylon, NY

    I loved this book. It was exactly what I needed to read after coming off some frustrating stories. I am a sucker for a good rom com and this was just as gratifying as watching one in the movie theater

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