Book: “Ties That Tether” by Jane Igharo
Rating: 3+/5 Stars
“Ties That Tether” follows Azere who is a young, single Nigerian woman living in Canada. Azere’s overbearing mother just wants her to find happiness in the form of a Nigerian man, but fate has other plans. Azere’s world is turned upside-down when she meets Rafael, a man who is her opposite in everyway and happens to be white. Throughout the ups and downs of their courtship, Azere learns about the importance of culture, identity and most importantly, about herself.
This book had such a great premise! I really loved the plot line and was genuinely interested in Azere’s story. I found Azere’s personality to be likable but not overly so. There were some situations where I just couldn’t identify with her insecurity. I can understand why the character behaved in the manner that she did, but it wasn’t always a course of action that I could rally behind. With that being said, her slightly off putting uncertainty did not keep me from enjoying the book.
I really enjoyed hearing about the different familial dynamics and the cultural concerns throughout the novel. This part of the storyline was the highlight and kept me reading. For me, the love story dropped back and I was more interested in the relationship between Azere and her mother. Although, in that particular pair… I felt let down by the ending. Without providing any spoilers, I found the ending for Azere and her mom to be unlikely and unsatisfying.
The thematic concepts in this novel were excellent and absorbing, however the execution fell short. Too many character interactions and situations were cliche and predictable. I went into this one with high hopes, but was left feeling slightly disappointed.
Recommendation: Skip this one unless you feel really moved to read it, if so… I’d head to the local library and borrow a copy.