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Straddling worlds

Cover of Ties that Tether
A review of Ties that Tether by Jane Igharo

Nigerian-Canadian immigrant Azere has known since she was a child that she would marry a Nigerian man. This is something she promised her dying father when she was twelve years old after her family had newly arrived in Canada. This promise and her mother's ongoing fear that their Nigerian culture will be lost has been a driving force in Azere's entire life. Though she is now a successful copy writer in an advertising firm and lives an independent, adult life in every other way, she continues to go on dates with the men her mother picks. And that's where this charming debut novel opens, on one of those arranged dates. Azere walks away from that disastrous dinner date and into a one night stand with the handsome (non-Nigerian) man she meets in the bar. Her impulsive behavior has longer-lasting complications and consequences. She is forced to reckon with her greatest dilemma. Just who is she and how does she hold onto and meld all the pieces of her identity into a happy whole? 

Though the writing is ocassionally clunky and the ending a bit abrupt, I tore through this charming debut from Igharo and was rooting for Azere from start to finish.



Sep 21, 2020