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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

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SalaciousPeach



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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Free sample

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

Why I love it

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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Member ratings (7,187)

  • Sherrie M.

    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

  • Savannah J.

    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

  • Madison L.

    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.

  • Kaitlin P.

    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!

  • Eva M.

    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.