Title: Ties that Tether
Author: Jane Igharo
“Maybe it’s time you show this part of yourself to your mother. Maybe it’s time she sees the daughter who has been hiding rom her.”
Azere is twelve when she promises her dad, who is dying, that she will marry a Nigerian man and preserve her culture even after she moves to Canada. Her mother has been forcing her to keep that promise ever since. When Azere meets Rafael, a white man, and begins to fall in love she struggles with going against her fathers dying wish and fears that having a relationship with Rafael will make her lose her culture. She is not sure how to feel about her feelings.
What did I like:
1. The author did a wonderful job of illustrating how someone who migrates to another county often feels. In Azere’s case being both Nigerian and Canadian and how to honor both cultures. Then when she meets Rafael, who is from Spain, and the struggle with what it would mean to add a 3rd culture into the mix, how that could change her identity.
2. Azere’s character! Wow! She’s so tough! I love how she stood up to her mother and went after what she wanted. She is a strong independent character and I loved her!
3. I pretty much thought all the characters were pretty well developed and defined. The story was pretty good too and kept me engaged. It was a fast read.
What didn’t I like:
1. I am not a huge fan of instalove. I like when the relationship is slow to build. I wish I could have seen more of the quirky cute things that happened between Rafael and Azere that made them fall in love with one another.
2. Azere’s mom’s reaction and actions to her falling in love with a white man while often realistic still made me feel angry. At the same time, this added value to the story because this is relatable to many who are in interracial relationships.