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Ties That Tether

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When a Nigerian woman falls for a man she knows will break her mother’s heart, she must choose between love and her family. At twelve years old, Azere promised her dying father she would marry a Nigerian man and preserve her culture even after emigrating to Canada. Her mother has been vigilant about helping--forcing--her to stay well within the Nigerian dating pool ever sin When a Nigerian woman falls for a man she knows will break her mother’s heart, she must choose between love and her family. At twelve years old, Azere promised her dying father she would marry a Nigerian man and preserve her culture even after emigrating 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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When a Nigerian woman falls for a man she knows will break her mother’s heart, she must choose between love and her family. At twelve years old, Azere promised her dying father she would marry a Nigerian man and preserve her culture even after emigrating to Canada. Her mother has been vigilant about helping--forcing--her to stay well within the Nigerian dating pool ever sin When a Nigerian woman falls for a man she knows will break her mother’s heart, she must choose between love and her family. At twelve years old, Azere promised her dying father she would marry a Nigerian man and preserve her culture even after emigrating 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.

30 review for Ties That Tether

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    This is a promising debut and I’m really happy to have a chance to read it because learning more about different cultures, their traditions, approaches, perspectives turned me into a excited child who is happy to discover new, colorful worlds and appreciates the knowledge is power. Most of our ancestors have migrated from other countries and sometimes respecting your ancestors’ wishes and protecting your cultural identity might be one of the most challenging thing to achieve because when you adj This is a promising debut and I’m really happy to have a chance to read it because learning more about different cultures, their traditions, approaches, perspectives turned me into a excited child who is happy to discover new, colorful worlds and appreciates the knowledge is power. Most of our ancestors have migrated from other countries and sometimes respecting your ancestors’ wishes and protecting your cultural identity might be one of the most challenging thing to achieve because when you adjust to your new environment, your efforts may be resulted with cultural degeneration. There are two risky solutions of this adaptation problem: you may lose the native identity completely and forget where you come from or you turned into someone without identity because you cannot adjust to both of the cultures. You’re just stuck in the middle of them. This book gave impressive and educational approach to this sensitive topic: The plot idea was also emotional, thought provoking and moving about young Nigerian woman, Azere wants to obey dying father’s last wish: she will preserve her cultural identity and marry with a Nigerian man. But when her one night stand with a white man turned into a intimate, meaningful relationship, she is stuck in a big dilemma: should she do what she’s told and respect her family’s wishes to marry with a man from her own culture or should she listen to her heart and choose her own path of happiness with Rafael. It was entertaining, enjoyable romcom and both protagonists were thankfully likable. Their chemistry was hot, sizzling. Only the last quarter of the book a little disappointed me with regular cliches about hero and his big secret which ruined the lovers’ bright future kind of angsty parts. I found it a little unnecessary. But at least conclusion of couple’s lives story saved the day. Because of the exaggerated angst parts I cut one of my stars. So I’m giving four identity, multicultural interest, powerful, promising, creative four stars! I’m looking forward to read new works of the author. Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this moving ARC with me in exchange my honest opinions and introducing me a brilliant debut author.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    2.5 stars. Trigger warning for surprise pregnancy, loss of a child, loss of a loved one, and traumatic childbirth. **I would like to clarify that these triggers do not happen to the same people and do not happen at the same time. People are assuming these happen all at the end and that I am spoiling the ending. This is not spoiling the ending. Certain people in here discuss death of a loved one and death of a child. That is why there is that trigger. I also think that it's important that people 2.5 stars. Trigger warning for surprise pregnancy, loss of a child, loss of a loved one, and traumatic childbirth. **I would like to clarify that these triggers do not happen to the same people and do not happen at the same time. People are assuming these happen all at the end and that I am spoiling the ending. This is not spoiling the ending. Certain people in here discuss death of a loved one and death of a child. That is why there is that trigger. I also think that it's important that people know that this entire book revolves around a surprise pregnancy as it happens 5% into the book. That is a very triggering topic in itself and I do not read surprise pregnancy books, so I would have liked to know that this book dealt with surprise pregnancies the entire time before picking it up. That's not a trigger for me personally, just a preference. Hiding a trope used in the ENTIRE book does not help people when they read reviews to see if they will like a book or not.** I want to start out with saying I was so excited to read this book. The cover is gorgeous and this book sounded so good with the main character falling for a man that was not Nigerian when she promised her deceased father she would marry a Nigerian man. Unfortunately, when I started this book, I was really not enjoying the writing style. The dialogue felt very forced and cliche and there were FAR too many movie references. Rom coms are our main character's "thing," but she goes on to reference at least ten movies and follow that reference up with an entire paragraph summarizing the movie or scene she was reminded of. This got to be too much, and, while I love movies and knew every single movie she referenced, I just didn't care and it took me out of the story each time. On to the actual plot. This book deals with surprise pregnancy, which is my least favorite trope. While this is definitely a me problem, I wish the synopsis mentioned this because I wouldn't have even picked the book up. I honestly would have DNFd this book at that point if I weren't reading this for review. There is a love triangle between Azere and two guys, a Nigerian guy she has a past with that her mother picked and this other guy she had a one-night stand with. I didn't really feel any of the connection or past to the guy she had a history with and I didn't feel the chemistry that much with the other guy she had hooked up with. None of the romance really did it for me. It also felt like a lot started in this book and then just stopped or wasn't fleshed out enough. I feel like we still don't know these characters, who they are, or what they like other than the main conflict of the story. It was just missing that real-life authenticity to the characters. I will say, I did appreciate the important discussion about dating someone that is not of your same ethnicity and how cultures can or cannot come together in a relationship. Azere has a lot of guilt over not staying completely loyal to her Nigerian roots and disappointing her family's expectations. However, the story itself, the writing, and the romance just did not mesh with me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Book of the Month

    Why I love it by Helen Hoang 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 Why I love it by Helen Hoang 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. Read more at: https://bookofthemonth.com/ties-that-...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lily Herman

    Okay, um, I can't get into this review until we acknowledge how RIDICULOUSLY GORGEOUS this cover is. Oh? My? God? It's one of my favorites of 2020, hands down. Jane Igharo's Ties That Tether is a wonderful debut with a powerful underlying message about trying to figure out who you are when straddling completely different cultures that can, at the surface, seem totally incompatible. I rooted for Azere almost immediately (and not just because she's a huge rom-com fan like moi), and Rafael was a cha Okay, um, I can't get into this review until we acknowledge how RIDICULOUSLY GORGEOUS this cover is. Oh? My? God? It's one of my favorites of 2020, hands down. Jane Igharo's Ties That Tether is a wonderful debut with a powerful underlying message about trying to figure out who you are when straddling completely different cultures that can, at the surface, seem totally incompatible. I rooted for Azere almost immediately (and not just because she's a huge rom-com fan like moi), and Rafael was a charming AF love interest. Some of the dialogue was a little awkward at times and a few key moments were glazed over a tad quicker than I would've liked, but overall, this novel offered something different and much-needed in a genre that continues to expand its #ownvoices offerings and provide different perspectives. It's around 3.5 stars for me and I rounded up. I'm INCREDIBLY excited to see what else Janne Igharo has up her sleeve—she's one to watch. Content warning: Discussions about death of loved ones

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cortney Evans

    This book was absolutely beautiful! I loved it so so much! I enjoyed getting to know Azere and learn about her Nigerian culture. The Ties That Tether did an amazing job of bringing to light the beauty and the richness that comes from in an intercultural relationship. This book really made you question how well do you know yourself and what makes you, you? This book gets all the stars from me! A must read! I want to thank Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for an advanced copy of this book!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Precious ✨

    I have nothing. Nothing could have been changed. Nothing could have enhanced this story more. Nothing could be better. Nothing can change my mind. Perfection.🖤 -------- So two months later and this book is still leaving me a bit tongue tied. Ties That Tether was such a fantastic read, that I devoured. I felt for both of the main characters. Over the course of it's 300 sum pages it gets into identity, loss, traditions, love, and the gilded cages that can come from each. That's how I pictured both A I have nothing. Nothing could have been changed. Nothing could have enhanced this story more. Nothing could be better. Nothing can change my mind. Perfection.🖤 -------- So two months later and this book is still leaving me a bit tongue tied. Ties That Tether was such a fantastic read, that I devoured. I felt for both of the main characters. Over the course of it's 300 sum pages it gets into identity, loss, traditions, love, and the gilded cages that can come from each. That's how I pictured both Azere and Rafael. Two people who meet each other despite what holds them back separately. and I desperately wanted to rip it off every time it came in between them. For Azere the blurb already lets us know about the promise she to her father when she was young, and the expectation her mother has on her, but sometime during the time you start this journey to its end we really get to see what kind of impact it has really had on shaping her life. She herself was still great and a romance movie addict. Absolutely adored her, even at times I thought about choking her out. The authenticity I found in here was wonderful and really brought out so many more facets by highlighting Azere's culture and at times Rafael's too. The colors, the sayings, the taste. The food omg, the food! Also killer of Igharo to give us some slots of Rafael's POV too. Even if it wasn't 50/50 it was still enough to get what I needed, as well as break up narration and provide perspective we could only get from him. Gosh Rafael, I wear my heart on my sleeve for you. I am all for broken heroes. He was for the most part very understanding, thoughtful and communicative. However, with the things in his past he held onto those for far too long and I was happy to see him work through that. Wonderful, heartfelt, binge worthy novel that will leave you in book hangover at the minimum. Please treat yourself. Thank you Berkley Publishing Group for an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.<3

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Hupe

    Thank you, NetGalley, Berkley Publishing Group, and Jane Igharo for the opportunity to read this book! Ties that Tether by Jane Igharo started off as a cover request. I mean, come on, just look at this stunning cover! No one could pass on it. Well, there is an added bonus…the story is also stunning. Azere moved to Canada from Nigeria at the age of 12. Before her father died, she promised him that she would marry a Nigerian man to preserve her culture. She has always been a good daughter, but she Thank you, NetGalley, Berkley Publishing Group, and Jane Igharo for the opportunity to read this book! Ties that Tether by Jane Igharo started off as a cover request. I mean, come on, just look at this stunning cover! No one could pass on it. Well, there is an added bonus…the story is also stunning. Azere moved to Canada from Nigeria at the age of 12. Before her father died, she promised him that she would marry a Nigerian man to preserve her culture. She has always been a good daughter, but she is getting a little tired of the constant line of dates that her mother is setting her up with. One night, after a particularly disastrous interview date, she meets a man at the bar. Rafael is in town for a job interview and he is captivated by Azere. After a night of passion, Azere is determined to put it behind her and focus on pleasing her mother. That is until Rafael is the new hire at her work… I read this book in ONE night. I laughed, I cried, and I swooned. I was completely captured by this story from page one. Azere is intelligent and gorgeous inside and out. I love her devotion to her family and culture and also the devotion to herself. She is determined to be the best in her career and also follows her heart. “The truth, my village was far from being a metropolis. Sure. It was quiet, rural, and simple. But our ancient customs and the simplicity of our lifestyle didn’t make us uncivilized. We were a community of teachers and doctors and farmers and vivacious marketwomen whose sharp wits and quick tongues could easily rival many university graduates. My mother was one of these women.” TIES THAT TETHER The most painful and yet beautiful part of this book is the mother/daughter relationship. There is one scene where Azere misses her mom so fiercely that it made me cry. Mother/Daughter relationships are so complicated as it is, but theirs is so much deeper. It is not just about the love for each other but preserving a part of themselves that the white world often tries to erase. This puts such a heavy burden on both Azere and her mother. I cannot recommend this book enough. It hits shelves on September 29th so be sure to grab your copy! I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jite

    This is an interesting romantic debut from a Nigerian-Canadian author. Being Nigerian myself, and a lover of Nigerian romance, this seemed like it would be an excellent match for me. I’ve read this with mixed emotions, the summary of which is that on the balance of things, I think it’s alright and I appreciate the story the author wanted to tell and really respected the own voices nature of that story about culture and love and assimilation and the fear of losing your heritage and disappointing This is an interesting romantic debut from a Nigerian-Canadian author. Being Nigerian myself, and a lover of Nigerian romance, this seemed like it would be an excellent match for me. I’ve read this with mixed emotions, the summary of which is that on the balance of things, I think it’s alright and I appreciate the story the author wanted to tell and really respected the own voices nature of that story about culture and love and assimilation and the fear of losing your heritage and disappointing your generations. Starting with the positives, this story is undoubtedly own voices- the author captured the nuances of a common Nigerian experience especially for Nigerian immigrants growing up in the disapora, but this experience is even applicable locally. I read book with similar themes recently that was very well-written but that WASN’T own voices and reading this book, I can tell that the author understands this cultural experience and expectation because of her sympathy with Azere. I love that the author approached this theme and the relationship between Nigerian mothers and daughters which can be filled with such sacrificial care but also fraught with manipulation and misunderstanding and pressure. I love the moment in the book where Azere and her mother talk about conditional love because I feel like this is such an important theme in Nigerian parent-child relationships. This book made me think about the inherent societal pressures there are on parents for their children to conform to inherited culture and not “bring shame to the family” and how that pressure is inherited by kids to know that the weight of their parents’, community’s and ancestor’s expectations are on them. I definitely related to Azere’s desire to suppress things and pretend that everything was fine. I think this was strongest in the selected theme and for the most part, the plot. Where this struggled a bit for me was in the execution. The protagonists didn’t feel full-bodied to me- Azere came across as immature because we never really got to know her and what she wanted as a character and who she really was outside of being her mother’s daughter, Rafael’s reluctant lover, Efe’s sister, Christina’s friend. I didn’t know what her dreams were, what she wanted from life, whether she liked her job, how she felt about her society etc. What little we saw of what kind of friend and sister she was didn’t really sell her as a character to root for. We didn’t know her as a human outside the major conflict of this novel. Rafael was also to me a bit of a shell- we didn’t know much about him either except that he was in love with Azere at first sight but not quite why? Even when he made his big declaration at the disastrous family dinner, it seemed out of left field as cute and delightfully awwwwww-some as it was, it felt a little hollow because we didn’t know him as a character- what does he like outside of Azere, who is he as a person, what did he feel about being in a multicultural relationship, what was his reaction to the pushback from Azere’s family. I felt the character development was a little surface-y. And I think as a reader, knowing the character’s better would have made this a stronger read than it was. As it was, I still enjoyed reading this story, I just think this aspect could have been stronger. I frequently found the way the story was revealed a little clunky. The dialogue to me, wasn’t always realistic and the plot felt a little jumpy and not seamless and I think part of this might be teething issues with this being the author’s first book and also with the author writing a romance that she wanted to appeal to both own voices readers and a mass foreign audience. I wish the author hadn’t always felt the need to explain everything but had just let the book rest on what she wrote- for example, every element of Nigerian culture or sayings explained in great detail, every reference to a Nigerian cultural icon (like Tiwa Savage, Patience Ozokwor, Simi etc) explained in great detail, rom-com movie references being given mini-analyses/recaps... it just felt a little too much. I’ve read many books even romances with cultural references that I didn’t know and if I was interested, I Googled to learn, and if I wasn’t interested, I kept it moving. The needing to “glossarize” every reference often pulled me out of the plot and it skewed this book for me into not really being for readers with romantically-underrepresented cultural experiences but a book for “Westerners” to have an insight into an aspect of Nigerian culture. The other issue I experienced with this is something I sometimes see in interracial romances where in order to justify the relationship with the white character, the “ethnic” protagonist must always somehow drag every relationship they’ve had with dating someone from their culture. It’s like “well I’ve tried dating people from my culture/race and they were toxic messes and so that justifies me dating this person from a different race.” These sorts of implied or overt narratives really irk me. After all, is it because of their race that this new love interest is good/respectful/kind or is it because they are who they are. This book portrayed “dateable” Nigerian men in a certain light and whilst I don’t disagree that there’s a concerning proliferation of Nigerian f-boys, I think this aspect of the book was a little clunkily-expressed and fell a bit into that trap interracial romances sometimes do. All in all, I think this is a good story, a very recognizable story to many people who struggle to find a balance and hold on to their culture and heritage in the middle of that space between the inevitability of cultural assimilation and the fear of loss and separation from heritage that breeds cultural fundamentalism. I appreciate the author trying to bring it into mainstream romance. I appreciate her for showing that love can win and culture doesn’t have to be sacrificed. The execution wasn’t my favourite but this was a debut and the author wrote a book that was interesting enough that I didn’t put it down till I finished once I started. Many thanks to Berkley Publishing for gifting me this free book!

  9. 4 out of 5

    mindful.librarian ☀️

    (free review copy) 5 stars for originality in romance - AMEN for a voice and story from a culture (Nigerian-Canadian) not seen often (if at all) in contemporary romance 🙌🏼 3 stars for parts of the writing that seemed like they glossed over some characters and situations that I wanted to be a lot deeper. Overall, I’m excited to read more from this author and am very happy to have read this story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Wolf

    At first glance, Ties That Tether might seem to be just another contemporary romance. But really, it’s so much more. Right off the bat, we know that Azere has done something completely out of character. After a terrible first date with yet another mom-approved man, Azere decides to cool off by having a drink in the hotel bar… where an attractive stranger strikes up a conversation with her. After talking for hours, they end up in bed and have a fantastic night together — but Azere leaves quietly t At first glance, Ties That Tether might seem to be just another contemporary romance. But really, it’s so much more. Right off the bat, we know that Azere has done something completely out of character. After a terrible first date with yet another mom-approved man, Azere decides to cool off by having a drink in the hotel bar… where an attractive stranger strikes up a conversation with her. After talking for hours, they end up in bed and have a fantastic night together — but Azere leaves quietly the next morning, never intending to see him again. Azere is Nigerian Canadian, born and raised in a village that she remembers fondly, until her father’s death when she was 12 years old led the family to immigrate to Canada under the protection of her paternal uncle. While Azere and her sister Efe learned to become Canadian, Azere’s mother holds the girls to their heritage, and most of all, she holds Azere to the promise she made to her father on his deathbed: To marry a Nigerian Edo man. Azere feels guilt over her one-night stand, because she’s never been with a non-Nigerian man before, but intends to move on and be a dutiful daughter once again, until the man in question, Rafael, shows up in her office as a new hire with whom she’ll be working closely. Rafael is white, of Spanish decent, and is nothing like the type of man her mother would approve of. But there’s an undeniable chemistry between the two of them — and then something complicates matters further (no spoilers from me!) in a way that guarantees that Azere and Rafael will have to deal with their feelings for one another. Besides the terrific connection between Azere and Rafael, this book really shines when it comes to exploring the immigrant experience, spotlighting the pressure to be loyal to one’s heritage while at the same time trying to establish a new life in a new world. Azere is a wonderful character. She adores romantic movies, which I find incredibly endearing. She can pull out rom-com quotes or comparisons for seemingly any occasion, and it’s just so cute. Azere tries so hard to be the good daughter her mother expects, but her mother leaves her no room for anything but the way she thinks she should be, going so far as to threaten to disown Azere if she persists in a relationship with Rafael. It’s a terrible situation, and the author lets us see the awful pain Azere experiences, being forced to choose her family or the man she loves, with no middle ground available. The book does a very convincing job of showing the challenges of being an outsider in a new country — particularly for children, who are expected to live up to family expectations and keep traditions alive, yet whose day-to-day existence can be brutal at an age where differences can mean exclusion. Only by adjusting their clothing, food, and other outward signs of their culture can Azere and Efe finally make friends and fit in as young girls. The writing is lovely, letting us inside Azere’s head (and occasionally Rafael’s), showing the heightened emotions of falling in love without going too far over the top… and sometimes, surprising with how powerful simple words can be. The course of true love never did run smooth, so of course there are all sorts of issues beyond the cultural differences that stand between Azere and Rafael. Still, given the nature of romances, there’s never any doubt that these two will end up together — it’s just a question of how, and how long it will take. The author, like Azere, immigrated from Nigeria to Canada at age 12, and it’s obvious that she knows what’s she’s talking about. Azere’s struggles and experiences feel authentic and realistically portrayed. She’s a wonderful main character, and I loved seeing the care and thoughtfulness she devotes to fulfilling her own romantic destiny while not discarding her family heritage. I really enjoyed this book, start to finish. It’s a quick and captivating read that pulled me in right from the start. The romance itself is terrific, full of steam and attraction, as well as true emotion and vulnerability. If anything, Rafael is maybe a shade too perfect (and even though Azere has cause to distrust him, we readers know perfectly well that he’s hiding bits of his past for valid reasons and can guess what those reasons are). As a couple, Rafael and Azere are easy to root for — they’re just so right for each other. Ties That Tether is a delight. Don’t miss it! Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley. Full review at Bookshelf Fantasies.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ezinwanyi Chinyere

    I was really excited to read this book as a first generation Nigerian American. I knew this story will resonate with me and feel as personal as it ended up being. This story wasn't as much a love story as it was a Coming of Age story where the heroine had to find her own way in life. Much like the heroine Azere, I was often subjected to my parent's constant stressing about the importance of not losing cultural identity, traditions and language even if one is living in a foreign country. For the I was really excited to read this book as a first generation Nigerian American. I knew this story will resonate with me and feel as personal as it ended up being. This story wasn't as much a love story as it was a Coming of Age story where the heroine had to find her own way in life. Much like the heroine Azere, I was often subjected to my parent's constant stressing about the importance of not losing cultural identity, traditions and language even if one is living in a foreign country. For the foreign parents, it seems like a rejection of their ancestral lands, ways and ultimately a rejection of them. I admired Azere because she showed a great desire to please her parents especially her dying father. She really made an effort to find a way to make peace with marrying her suitor who is also from Edo State (Nigeria) even though she made a connection with Rafael, a white Canadian. There comes a time in everyone's life where you have to decide what makes you happy. Some people's need to please others leads them to make choices that make them miserable and that is where the character had to grow and develop. I found the story relatable and thought provoking. I really liked the characters and their journey together. The story wasn't an easy one, in fact it was full of angst. But I thought the author did a great job of trying to convey the societal and cultural pressures that children of immigrants face when it comes to marriage choices. A really good novel about familial traditions, love and finding your own way in life. *Special thanks to Berkley Publishing via NetGalley for the e-ARC given in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    nora &#x1fa90;

    4.5/5 ☆ = 5+ DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Penguin Random House Global for the e-galley in exchange for an honest review. Trigger Warnings// (view spoiler)[traumatic childbirth, mentions of deaths (hide spoiler)] All her life, Azere has known she must marry a Nigerian man. After moving away from Nigeria at the age of twelve to Canada, the fear of losing herself and her culture in a new world has haunted her ever since. Or more specifically, her father who passed away, where his last wish was for Azere to m 4.5/5 ☆ = 5+ DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Penguin Random House Global for the e-galley in exchange for an honest review. Trigger Warnings// (view spoiler)[traumatic childbirth, mentions of deaths (hide spoiler)] All her life, Azere has known she must marry a Nigerian man. After moving away from Nigeria at the age of twelve to Canada, the fear of losing herself and her culture in a new world has haunted her ever since. Or more specifically, her father who passed away, where his last wish was for Azere to marry an Edo man. This leads to countless of arranged dates with Edo men, where after one miserable and sexist date, Azere stumbles upon Rafael, a white man. The exact kind of man Azere promised to never fall for, to honor her father's last wish. What seemed to be a one-night stand turns into something more when Rafael appears on her workplace as a newly appointed hire. And also is the baby daddy of Azere's unborn child. Ties That Tether was a quick but wonderful read. It was as if reading a rom-com, with all the feels and drama and of course - a swoon-worthy romance. And it definitely toyed with my feelings. The mix between a contemporary story and romance was something I really liked. As a daughter of immigrants, I've also faced the issues and difficulties of finding where I belong. I found myself relating to many of the complications of culture clashes. The themes of family values are engraved deeply in my heart and soul, and I definitely loved the importance of it in this book. At some times the writing could seem a little silly or cliché, yet I did get a whole lot of rom-com vibes from this book. And I'm definitely a sucker for rom-coms, so the silliness felt almost right to me. Yet I wish Igharo could dig deeper into the pain and confusion. There was a potential for this story to become even more...raw and heartbreaking. I found myself relating to Azere at many points. The confusion, finding my own voice, as well as going for what my heart really wants. And I wonder if anyone else feels like this. In a way, I felt represented, as I also found bits of myself in Azere. Now I feel empowered and certain that I will find my way in this world. I could definitely feel that this story was a mix of thoughts and an important message Igharo wanted to convey. I do wish there hadn't been so many time skips, so I could really feel understand the emotions and pain Azere was going through in her story. In conclusion, I found this book absolutely enjoyable. I had fun, as well as learned a little bit more about Nigerian culture. Even though Azere and I are different, I also found many similarities as our shared experience of living in two different worlds at the same time. This book made me miss watching rom-coms, so I will definitely watch one soon! Over and out. -Nora<3

  13. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    May 28, 2020: That cover! OMG. BEAUTIFUL. This is an ownvoices debut that follows a Nigerian woman who immigrates to Canada and features an interracial romance that can give you complex family and culture dynamics. I'm so excited for this one to release!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    This one had drama after drama and I'm not sure I would label it romance because the romance often took a backseat to the family drama taking place. Ties that Tether is a story about cultural identity and balancing more than one culture. The main character Azere has been balancing being Nigerian and Canadian for years and then this new relationship with the Spanish Rafael has thrown yet another identity in the mix. It's revealed fairly early on however I wish it wouldve been in the synopsis that t This one had drama after drama and I'm not sure I would label it romance because the romance often took a backseat to the family drama taking place. Ties that Tether is a story about cultural identity and balancing more than one culture. The main character Azere has been balancing being Nigerian and Canadian for years and then this new relationship with the Spanish Rafael has thrown yet another identity in the mix. It's revealed fairly early on however I wish it wouldve been in the synopsis that this book contains a surprise pregnancy. And that surprise pregnancy determines how fast the romance moves along. And it also makes this other potential love interest more of an annoying bug who doesn't really have a chance but won't go away. While the African culture and immigration identity politics kept me reading the romance and it's lack of chemistry turned me off. View more in depth review here https://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot....

  15. 5 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    This book most definitely will not be for everyone. If you go into this story thinking that this is a light and fluffy rom-com, you will be sorely disappointed. Azere emigrated from Nigeria to Canada when she was twelve years old, and she lives in constant fear of losing herself and her culture in Canada, which is exacerbated by her father’s last wish: to marry an Edo man. This means that Azere has endured countless dates orchestrated by her mother since becoming an obedient wife and bearing chil This book most definitely will not be for everyone. If you go into this story thinking that this is a light and fluffy rom-com, you will be sorely disappointed. Azere emigrated from Nigeria to Canada when she was twelve years old, and she lives in constant fear of losing herself and her culture in Canada, which is exacerbated by her father’s last wish: to marry an Edo man. This means that Azere has endured countless dates orchestrated by her mother since becoming an obedient wife and bearing children is the highest honor she can achieve (mama’s words…not mine). Well, another one of those dates ends in flames, but Azere winds up meeting and having a one night stand with Rafael (who is white). What was supposed to be a one night thing turns into something much more than either Azere or Rafael anticipated. There are so many different facets to this story, and I know I won’t be able to hit all of them, but there’s a few that I do want to focus on. The entire discussion around the struggle that immigrants face due to the clash of one’s home culture versus the new culture they must assimilate to was eye-opening and raw. You can tell that Azere really grapples with trying preserve her Nigerian culture, but she also knows that Canada is her home and world as well. There’s this entire examination of the push pull between old world and new that I think Igharo nails. I loved both Azere’s and Rafael’s characters. Both of them are incredibly passionate, fierce, and loyal to their families and customs. As someone who is biracial and in an interracial marriage, I 100% related to all of the struggles and complexities that Azere and Rafael face when you have people from different cultures coming together in a relationship. Azere doesn’t want her Nigerian heritage forgotten and Rafael’s Spanish customs are incredibly important to him as well. The author does a fantastic job of showing the struggles and complicated communications that couples face when you ultimately have to address compromising heritage and customs in favor of love and happiness. I just can’t recommend this book enough! Thank you to Berkley for providing a review copy through NetGalley. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Leah (Jane Speare)

    That was a DAMN good book. Azere is tired of her mother setting her up with 'good' Nigerian men. As a Nigerian woman who has spent most of her adult life in Canada, she's already torn on how to both fit in and embrace her heritage in her daily life. This situation only gets more complicated after an unexpected one-night stand with Rafael, exactly the kind of man her mother would disapprove of. Though their relationship takes an unexpectedly serious turn, Azere remains cautious and reserved becaus That was a DAMN good book. Azere is tired of her mother setting her up with 'good' Nigerian men. As a Nigerian woman who has spent most of her adult life in Canada, she's already torn on how to both fit in and embrace her heritage in her daily life. This situation only gets more complicated after an unexpected one-night stand with Rafael, exactly the kind of man her mother would disapprove of. Though their relationship takes an unexpectedly serious turn, Azere remains cautious and reserved because her entire upbringing has been tied to her culture, and falling in love with a Spaniard like Rafael could alienate her from her entire family. Azere struggles with compromising her Nigerian heritage and traditions in order to be with someone who makes her happy. These struggles necessitate very difficult conversations with loved ones both new and old, and her efforts to communicate--or lack thereof--felt very authentic and relatable. Ties That Tether is an impressive debut that digs deep emotional roots while still maintaining that fairytale charm we all want in our happily ever after.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dysha Cole

    The cover art is absolutely beautiful and drew me right in. I really loved this book and how it depicted the struggle that many immigrants face when their families force them to choose between their native culture and the present dominating culture. I really love how Azere was able to find her voice and go after what she wanted. I would recommend this book to anyone.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Janine Ballard

    2.75 stars It was the premise (and the pretty cover) that caused me to request an ARC of Jane Igharo’s debut novel, Ties that Tether, a contemporary romance. The story concerns Azere, a Nigerian-Canadian advertising executive whose life is turned upside down when she meets and falls in love with Rafael, a white American of Spanish descent, despite her mother’s demand that Azere marry an Edo (Azere’s culture) and Nigerian man. This is a situation I’ve seen play out several times in real life (it’s 2.75 stars It was the premise (and the pretty cover) that caused me to request an ARC of Jane Igharo’s debut novel, Ties that Tether, a contemporary romance. The story concerns Azere, a Nigerian-Canadian advertising executive whose life is turned upside down when she meets and falls in love with Rafael, a white American of Spanish descent, despite her mother’s demand that Azere marry an Edo (Azere’s culture) and Nigerian man. This is a situation I’ve seen play out several times in real life (it’s commonplace in my community too) so the concept interested me. Azere and Rafael meet when Azere takes refuge in a Toronto hotel bar after a date her mother set her up on goes awry. She and Rafael, who is in town for a job interview, strike up a conversation. One thing leads to another and they get a room and have sex. But the next morning Azere leaves before Rafael wakes up. A month or so later, Rafael shows up at Azere’s workplace; he’s a new hire. To Azere’s dismay, her boss insists that they work together on a project. Despite Azere’s insistence on keeping everything professional, she’s attracted to Rafael. But standing in their way is her mother and Azere’s deathbed promise to her father that she would marry a Nigerian man. For a good part of the book, Azere’s mother doesn’t know about Azere’s attraction to Rafael but she sets up Azere on dates and insists her daughter marry and have children soon. At Azere’s age of twenty-five it’s past time, her mother feels. When Azere’s mother sets Azere up with Elijah, the man who, unbeknownst to her mother, took Azere’s virginity when she was nineteen and then abruptly left for medical school without a word, Azere chafes. But even so, her promises to her father and her mother’s insistence that she marry a Nigerian man cause her to try to keep Rafael at arm’s length. Azere’s half-Nigerian best friend, Christina, is the product of an interracial marriage and she urges Azere to live her life for herself and not for her mother. But Azere fears that if she does her mother will disown her. When Azere realizes that she is pregnant and Rafael is the father, the situation becomes even more difficult. Rafael is also in a difficult situation. It is obvious to Azere and to the reader that he has lived through a trauma and is only now beginning to recover. The event took place three years earlier and it left him a miles-deep heartache. Azere notices this in his eyes but he will not tell her what happened. Will Azere tell Rafael she is pregnant? What will her mother do when she finds out? Will Elijah’s presence complicate things further? Will Rafael’s past be revealed? And most of all, will Azere find the courage to stand up to her mother and follow her heart? There was no one thing egregiously bad anywhere in this book but it was disappointing almost across the board. I liked Azere. She was a generally nice person and her situation made me sympathetic to her. She was successful at her job and we got to see her perform well at work, something I always appreciate. Her background was interesting. But her obedience to her mother and her passivity when it came to pursuing her happiness took away any sense of her strength. Beyond her background she had few distinctive characteristics and that made her fade into the woodwork a bit. Her sister was a more charismatic and appealing character. Rafael was likable too. He was recovering from something painful and was into Azere right from the beginning. Both these things made him read as a nice man. I wanted him to have more personality outside of that, though. There were no real flaws in his character. You can find the rest of my review here, at Dear Author: https://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/o...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jen Ryland

    RTC! Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Let's be friends on Bookstagram! Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review! RTC! Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Let's be friends on Bookstagram! Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    2.5 stars Ties That Tether grabbed my attention because it promised a love story while balancing parental expectations. While Ties That Tether paid homage to romance by referencing romance movies, I struggled to place the genre. Azere’s mother was deadset on marrying Azere off to a nice Edo man and Azere didn’t know how to live her life without disappointing her parents. I liked the discussions on struggling to keep your culture in a new country and the expectations parents can have, but the roman 2.5 stars Ties That Tether grabbed my attention because it promised a love story while balancing parental expectations. While Ties That Tether paid homage to romance by referencing romance movies, I struggled to place the genre. Azere’s mother was deadset on marrying Azere off to a nice Edo man and Azere didn’t know how to live her life without disappointing her parents. I liked the discussions on struggling to keep your culture in a new country and the expectations parents can have, but the romance only served to move the plot. I never felt an emotional pull between Azere and Rafael; Rafael was smitten from the beginning and Azere found herself in a love triangle which I didn’t expect. Besides that, the dialogue often felt cheesy and forced. If Ties That Tether was a TV show, I’d watch it for the sheer amount of drama, but as a novel it was exhausting. Despite my disappointment with the overall story, Igharo’s examination of the immigrant experience and the expectations placed on children was important.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brittany J. (BNJreads)

    Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley Pub for the egalley. My thoughts: 4.5/5! I really enjoyed this book about culture, love, family, promises and the balancing act we perform to keep our parents happy. Overall an easy 5 stars. If life hadn’t gotten in the way I would’ve finished it in one day. It’s a binge worthy read with likeable and not so likeable characters. Azere’s mother drove me nuts and Azere too which her inability to speak up for herself. She does find her voice after an interesting tu Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley Pub for the egalley. My thoughts: 4.5/5! I really enjoyed this book about culture, love, family, promises and the balancing act we perform to keep our parents happy. Overall an easy 5 stars. If life hadn’t gotten in the way I would’ve finished it in one day. It’s a binge worthy read with likeable and not so likeable characters. Azere’s mother drove me nuts and Azere too which her inability to speak up for herself. She does find her voice after an interesting turn of events and I was so thankful. Ties that there was the perfect title for this book too! Grab a copy!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Diamond L

    First of all, this cover is gorgeous! The vibrant colors grabbed my attention and drove me to read the synopsis which in turn lead to me reading the book. So bravo to the artist. As for the actual story, I give it 3.5 stars. The fact that it was about an interracial couple was beautiful. I am a product of an interracial marriage and in this day and age I find that more and more people are. So it’s great to see fiction derived from how the world actually is. Representation matters, even if it’s no First of all, this cover is gorgeous! The vibrant colors grabbed my attention and drove me to read the synopsis which in turn lead to me reading the book. So bravo to the artist. As for the actual story, I give it 3.5 stars. The fact that it was about an interracial couple was beautiful. I am a product of an interracial marriage and in this day and age I find that more and more people are. So it’s great to see fiction derived from how the world actually is. Representation matters, even if it’s not your culture, or especially because it’s not. I am not Nigerian, but the struggles Azere has with what her traditions dictate and what her heart wants is relatable. Of course you want to respect your culture and be accepted by your loved ones. But just how much are you willing to sacrifice to find your own happiness? Personally, I’ve never experienced such blatant ultimatums from either of my parents. I’m incredibly lucky in that they’ve always let me choose who I want to be and who I want to love. But I can relate, if only in periphery, through my Aunt’s story. My Aunt is Mexican-American and she fell in love with a man outside of her race and culture and my grandfather disowned her. He never had a problem with his grandchildren from the marriage, but he was stubborn enough that he never spoke to or looked at my Aunt when she visited my grandmother. It wasn’t until my grandmother got sick 40 years later that he finally gave up his stubbornness to let her help take care of my grandmother and he rekindled their relationship. It’s so incredibly sad that they lost so many years because of ridiculous bias and stubbornness. But some cultures are like that. Azere’s Nigerian mom was just as stubborn as my Mexican grandfather. She wanted a Nigerian husband for her daughter and that was it. No arguments. It seems stubbornness is multi-cultural and multi-generational. This story is great because it is about more than romance. It’s about family, traditions, culture and how they all get incorporated into your life. The author expressed these views well. She showed just how much pressure cultural values and expectations can be and how they can effect every aspect of your life. What I didn’t like was Rafael’s “secret” that was holding them back. It was predictable and the author put too much emphasis on it having a major issue with why they weren’t working as a couple. I also had a problem with some of the writing style. I didn’t like that every time she wrote conversations she had to address the person by name. “Azere...you look beautiful.”, “Rafael, thank you.”, “Azere, you’re welcome.” Now obviously the writing wasn’t as cut and dry as that, but it felt like it sometimes. The audience is intelligent enough to follow conversation without addressing the person by name in each sentence. But other than a few things I didn’t like, I found that I enjoyed it. It was a good first novel and I would definitely read more from this author. Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley for releasing this ARC to me in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Oyinda

    3.5 stars rounded up! Hmmmmm... I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one, tbh. This was a book I went into with a lot of expectation and hope. I've been wanting to read this for months, and it was very enjoyable. What I Liked - The Romance: The romance in this book was so well-written, and I enjoyed reading how Azere and Rafael's relationship advanced. - The Love Interest, Rafael: One of my two fave characters in this book is Rafael, and I really enjoyed his antics. - Efe: Efe, Azere's sister, i 3.5 stars rounded up! Hmmmmm... I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one, tbh. This was a book I went into with a lot of expectation and hope. I've been wanting to read this for months, and it was very enjoyable. What I Liked - The Romance: The romance in this book was so well-written, and I enjoyed reading how Azere and Rafael's relationship advanced. - The Love Interest, Rafael: One of my two fave characters in this book is Rafael, and I really enjoyed his antics. - Efe: Efe, Azere's sister, is my other favorite character. I liked her very much and would have preferred her as the main character, because she seems more mature. - The first-gen immigrant experience: I love that so many parts of this book chronicaled the main character's experience as a first gen immigrant, her struggles, triumphs, and life. - The male narrator: The male narrator was so so good, his voice was like butter. - The female narrator (some parts): I have a love-hate relationship with the female narrator of this book, and I hated and loved her narration. I loved how she conveyed the emotions of the characters, and the giggles and laughter she added to the narration. - The ending: Ohhhh, the ending really salvaged the book for me. I really love how the book wrapped up. What I Didn't Like - The main character: Azere really annoyed me in this book, and I had a problem with so many aspects of her character. Sometimes, she just didn't add up to me. She was also very immature sometimes. - Her mother: Her mother was another annoying character, and the least likeable in the entire book!!! - Info dumps on Nigerian culture: There were too many info dumps in this book, and the author kept explaining the smallest things about Nigerian and Edo culture. - The female narrator (some parts) This was an enjoyable read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    angelareadsbooks

    Ties that Tether is a fantastic new debut from Jane Igharo. If you are looking for an own voices novel with romance and depth, look no further. Igharo swept me into Nigerian-Canadian culture as Azere navigates dating and family obligation. Though I'm not an immigrant myself, I appreciated learning about Nigerian culture and the expectations of that culture. Azere and Rafael have such a fun sequences of events for their meet cute. It pulled me right into the story and kept me engaged through the Ties that Tether is a fantastic new debut from Jane Igharo. If you are looking for an own voices novel with romance and depth, look no further. Igharo swept me into Nigerian-Canadian culture as Azere navigates dating and family obligation. Though I'm not an immigrant myself, I appreciated learning about Nigerian culture and the expectations of that culture. Azere and Rafael have such a fun sequences of events for their meet cute. It pulled me right into the story and kept me engaged through the development of their relationship. A moving and enjoyable read, Ties that Tether will stick with you long after reading it! A few important details for readers. This book walks the line between romance and women's fiction. I felt it leaned more towards women's fiction. There are also elements of this book that many readers many need a content warning for. I was a bit caught off guard by the serious of some of the topics. I think due to the juxtaposition of the cover and summary on the back cover versus the content of the book. Regardless, I think Igharo covers these topics with sensitivity.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    I loved everything about this book! A huge thank you to Berkley and Netgalley for my advanced copy. Ties That Tether was my favorite book of September and is in the running for one of my favorite romances of the year. I cannot wait to see what Jane Igharo publishes next.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo tells the story of Azere, a 25-year-old Nigerian woman living in Canada and must balance maintaining her family and heritage when she forms a relationship with a non-Nigerian man. The highlight of this book for me was reading about the two main character's relationship with their respective families and learning about both Azere and Rafael's cultures. This book was fun to read and I enjoyed the chemistry between the two leads. Unfortunately, this book contains one Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo tells the story of Azere, a 25-year-old Nigerian woman living in Canada and must balance maintaining her family and heritage when she forms a relationship with a non-Nigerian man. The highlight of this book for me was reading about the two main character's relationship with their respective families and learning about both Azere and Rafael's cultures. This book was fun to read and I enjoyed the chemistry between the two leads. Unfortunately, this book contains one of my least favorite tropes in the romance genre which, made it harder for me to enjoy the novel more. I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Natasha | readwithnatasha

    I really enjoyed this book! I think this was a great debut novel and will be picking up Jane Igharo's next books! Azere is a successful and confident 25 year old. She's a Nigerian Canadian and is stuck between living her own life and keeping a promise she made to her dying father to marry an Edo man. Her mother is holding her to that promise and is continually setting her up on dates, which leads to Azere walking out of a date, getting a drink at a hotel bar and then having a one-night stand with I really enjoyed this book! I think this was a great debut novel and will be picking up Jane Igharo's next books! Azere is a successful and confident 25 year old. She's a Nigerian Canadian and is stuck between living her own life and keeping a promise she made to her dying father to marry an Edo man. Her mother is holding her to that promise and is continually setting her up on dates, which leads to Azere walking out of a date, getting a drink at a hotel bar and then having a one-night stand with a white man... which, complicatedly turns into more. "I was being interviewed for the position of dutiful Edo wife by a man who couldn't chew with his mouth closed." I pretty quickly fell in love with Azere, especially after reading the above quote. She was strong, smart, and witty. It was pretty typical of a rom-com to get just enough background on the characters and this one is no different. I wanted to hear a lot more about Azere's background. I thought the overall theme was very relatable and I loved it. I won't give it away, but what Azere learned was basically something I want and need to learn in my own life. My only complaint was the overused references to rom-coms. Azere is beyond obsessed with rom-coms and every reference would have a paragraph listing off the different movies with whatever lesson or spend the entire paragraph explaining the specific scene. I just ended up skimming those paragraphs by the end. Overall, I loved the book. Azere was relatable. I learned about Nigerian culture and want to continue learning. And while I was annoyed with the rom-com references, I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone. If you loved The Boyfriend Project, you'll love this one as well. 4/5 stars.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Savitri

    Thank you to the Author & Berkley Pub for inviting me to the blog tour of Ties That Tether. Although Azere has lived in Canada since the age of 12, she has been raised by a traditional Nigerian mother and is expected to follow the custom of marrying an Edo husband, a promise Azere also made to her father in his deathbed. While Azere’s mother keeps pushing arranged dates to get Azere quickly married, fate has other plans when Azere ends up with Rafael, a Spanish-born White guy in a one night stand. Thank you to the Author & Berkley Pub for inviting me to the blog tour of Ties That Tether. Although Azere has lived in Canada since the age of 12, she has been raised by a traditional Nigerian mother and is expected to follow the custom of marrying an Edo husband, a promise Azere also made to her father in his deathbed. While Azere’s mother keeps pushing arranged dates to get Azere quickly married, fate has other plans when Azere ends up with Rafael, a Spanish-born White guy in a one night stand. To make matters worse, he also happens to be the new marketing guy at her workplace so her plan to never see him again gets quickly thrown out of the window. Soon Azere also makes another discovery that will force her to make serious decisions on whether to follow her tradition or adapt to a new normal that defies traditional values. This is such an awesome book on so many levels! While it’s penned as a romance, it is also a book on immigrant life. Both the main protagonists are first-generation immigrants, and the fact that the author is herself one, makes the descriptions of what it is like to be from another culture, that much more powerful and insightful. Many themes of collectivism vs. individualism, traditional vs. modern were explored. What I loved best is how the author effortlessly penned a strong female lead having to navigate her cultural identity with her true identity. The book also carries descriptions of life, food, clothing etc. in Nigeria so vivid that I felt transported to the country while reading the book. Azare’s doting mother and other characters provided comic relief during otherwise tense moments of conflicts or intimate urge. I highly recommend this 5-star book if you like interracial romance, multicultural books and OwnVoices authors.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Leah (LeahsLittlePleasures)

    What a beautiful, rich story! I am in awe. I loved it so much! It will not leave me for a long, long time. This is a story about grief and loss, hope and love, family and heritage, all rolled up into one amazing happily ever after. WOW. We follow Azere, a Nigerian woman, as she falls in love with a man who her mother disapproves of and navigates through pleasing her family, honoring her culture, and finding her voice. My favorite aspects: the strong women & female friendships, the fierce family What a beautiful, rich story! I am in awe. I loved it so much! It will not leave me for a long, long time. This is a story about grief and loss, hope and love, family and heritage, all rolled up into one amazing happily ever after. WOW. We follow Azere, a Nigerian woman, as she falls in love with a man who her mother disapproves of and navigates through pleasing her family, honoring her culture, and finding her voice. My favorite aspects: the strong women & female friendships, the fierce family ties, the underlying theme of fate and destiny tethering, tying, and pulling people together (and just how much the title plays a role throughout the story), the Nigerian culture and way of life infused and woven throughout, all the movie references! Jane Igharo beautifully and effortlessly evokes in words common human interactions and experiences that come with so much depth of feeling and individual intuition that I've only ever felt. To see them written in words had me momentarily stunned multiple times! I felt reflected in the pages just by the way she matches words to real-life experiences. This story is beyond what I was expecting; heartwarming yet gut-wrenching, tragic yet filled with so much hope. I feel so whole and complete after reading it! Potential content warnings: surprise/unplanned pregnancy, temporary mother/daughter estrangement, death of a spouse and unborn child, traumatic birth. Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for an advanced ecopy of this book!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Talie

    Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the complimentary digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo on its surface is about an interracial romance between Azere and Rafael. At its heart though I feel like this book is more of a coming of age story about a woman, whose family moved to Canada from Nigeria when she was twelve, and how she learns to balance traditional Nigerian cultural values with her real life in Canada. The story ex Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the complimentary digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo on its surface is about an interracial romance between Azere and Rafael. At its heart though I feel like this book is more of a coming of age story about a woman, whose family moved to Canada from Nigeria when she was twelve, and how she learns to balance traditional Nigerian cultural values with her real life in Canada. The story explores the weight of parental expectations in immigrant communities and the guilt that children feel as they make adjustments to fit in to the culture of their new country. I thought the book did a great job of capturing the emotions and internal conflict that Azere goes through. As a reader at times I'd get frustrated with Azere, her mom, Rafael, and just want to yell, "Communicate people!" But for this same reason this book rang very true for me. Humans as a rule aren't the most rational creatures when emotions are involved, and this book captures that perfectly. If the book has a weakness for me, I'd say it is the romance portion of the book. I wanted more about their connection. But this wasn't a deal breaker for me because I really do feel this book is more about Azere's journey of how to balance family expectations vs her living her own best life.

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