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Ties That Tether By Jane Igharo (Book Review)

Hey Lovelies,

Now I'm not much of a romantic but this novel just so happened to tug on some heart strings.

In a clever portrayal of conflict between the idea of self-determination and the desire to live up to family expectations is a raw and captivating love story.

This story explores what it means to have pride in one’s culture and heritage as well as the complexities of interracial dating.

It reminds us how to find strength to speak your truth to grow and mature. As captivating as this read is there are some aspects that fall short at times.

Now let's dive into this review!



Many immigrants face silent battles with their identity oftentimes feeling as though they have something prove to others.

It can be difficult to hold on to your ethnic origins when you are emerged in different cultures.

This happens to be the case when a Nigerian woman falls deeply In love with a white man her mother disapproves of, she must choose between her heart and her family!

Jane Igharo’s “Ties That Tether” tells the story of Azere, a Nigerian immigrant living in Canada who at 12, made a promise to her dying father that she would only marry a Nigerian man.

Azere’s mother continues to remind her of the promise she made to her father long after his death.

At every waking moment she doesn’t pass up an opportunity to set Azere up on date after date so she can start planning a wedding.

All seems to be according to plan until Azere’s one night stand ends up becoming her coworker who is also the father of her unborn child.

When Azere learns of her pregnancy she is overwhelmed with emotions and is torn between telling her mother the truth or giving up on what could be her one true love.

Azere can't help wondering if loving Rafael makes her any less of a Nigerian. She wonders if she can be with him without compromising her identity?

The Inspirational


What resonates the most with me about this read is Azere’s inner conflict to stop abiding by parental compliance.

She harbored so much guilt and pain for so many years trying to live up to other peoples expectations of her.

I could almost scream at the hypocrisy and lies in this book.

In the end it doesn’t matter if what you need makes sense to other people as long as you know it’s what you want in your heart. Nothing can take away who you are and your identity.

I do think the character development for Azere was lacking to some degree. Her love of cheesy romantic comedies felt a little forced.

This read challenges us to confront aspects of our life that are inadequate and embrace different aspects of ourselves.

It is only when we see ourselves that we can truly understand the parts of us that need to be loved and may need a little improvement. We need more representation in literary works and other media to give people of color the opportunity to see themselves and their circumstances.

People of color everywhere deserve well-rounded, relatable narratives that show them who they are as well as who they can be.

Five Inspirational Quotes

“No matter where you go remember your culture.”

“Immigrants chase success differently because we have something to prove to the people we left behind and the people who note our differences—our accent, our appearance, our religion, our culture—every day.”

“Mommy, you don’t love me enough. Your love, like your forgiveness, has conditions.”

“You have to find the strength to stand by your decision even when things are difficult.”

“Let go of the life I’ve planned and accept the life that’s waiting for you.”

Have you read Ties That Tether?

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