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Ties That Tether
Cover of Ties That Tether
Ties That Tether
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One of Betches' 7 Books by Black Authors You Need to Read This Summer

One of Elite Daily’s Books Featuring Interracial Relationships You Should Read In 2020

 
One of Marie Claire’s 2020 Books You Should Add to Your Reading List

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 immigrating to Canada. Her mother has been vigilant about helping—well forcing—her to stay 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 feelings for Rafael and the compulsive need to please her mother. Soon, 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.
One of Betches' 7 Books by Black Authors You Need to Read This Summer

One of Elite Daily’s Books Featuring Interracial Relationships You Should Read In 2020

 
One of Marie Claire’s 2020 Books You Should Add to Your Reading List

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 immigrating to Canada. Her mother has been vigilant about helping—well forcing—her to stay 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 feelings for Rafael and the compulsive need to please her mother. Soon, 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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  • From the cover Chapter 1 

    Culture is important. Preserving it, even more important. It’s the reason I’ve always abided by one simple dating rule.

    Tonight, I’ve broken that rule.

    It all started when he kissed me, when his silken lips and skilled tongue moved against mine with a perfect and sensational mixture of tenderness and force. It was the kind of kiss that rid me of all my wits and made me act spontaneous and reckless for the first time in my life.

    That kiss brought me here—­to his hotel room.

    We stagger through the door. Our bodies, entangled, navigate blindly, attempting to reach the bed. He slides a hand into my blouse and, in one swift movement, unhooks my bra.

    This wasn’t where I envisioned my night going. A few hours ago, I was having dinner at Louix Louis, located on the thirty-­first floor of the St. Regis Hotel in downtown Toronto. My date was not the man currently undressing me, but Richard Amowie, the engineer my mother referred to as “husband material.” Like me, he was Nigerian—­of Edo descent. He was also a Christian and, from the series of questions he had been asking, the kind of man who believed a woman’s single purpose was to breed babies and cater to her husband. Was I surprised by his archaic mentality? Not at all. My mother’s matches usually have this trait in common. As well as being Edo—­the most important trait of all.

    “What do you do for fun?” he asked, slicing through a well-­done steak. “Do you like to cook? Are you a good cook? Do you know how to make Edo food?”

    Despite the glamorous restaurant with a glistening coppery interior, I was not on a date. I was being interviewed for the position of dutiful Edo wife by a man who couldn’t chew with his mouth closed. The sight of his jagged teeth breaking apart the wine-­glazed beef made nausea tickle my throat. My appetite morphed into disgust, and I had no desire to finish the walnut-­crusted salmon on my plate. I looked through the large window, at the stunning view of downtown Toronto—­clusters of high-­rises invading the sky with height, the sight of Lake Ontario spread out in a vast expanse of shimmer and blue, and the CN Tower posing majestically as the city’s greatest beacon.

    “Well?” Richard asked, one eyebrow raised. “Do you? Do you cook?”

    “Yeah. I do.”

    “Edo food?” This specification was important to him.

    “Yes. I learned when I was a kid—­back in Nigeria.”

    His brow dropped, defusing the tension on his massive forehead. “Good. Very good.” His lips stretched and widened, hitting his cheekbones and exposing his teeth.

    It was official. I had advanced to the next round.

    “Want to know my favorite?” he asked. “Black soup with fresh catfish. I love it.”

    “Yeah. So did my father.”

    “He died, right? When you were back in Nigeria.”

    “Yeah,” I said. “Before my family and I moved to Canada. I was twelve at the time.”

    “Oh.” He chewed his dinner with the temperament of a ravenous goat, not taking a moment to offer a gesture of condolence. “But you’re twenty-­five now. So, it was a long time ago.” He made the statement with a casual ease as if referring to a childhood pet rather than my father, a man who died too young and agonized on a hospital bed before he did. “So. About your job,” he continued. “What is it you do...
About the Author-
  • Jane Abieyuwa Igharo was born in Nigeria and immigrated to Canada at the age of twelve. She has a journalism degree from the University of Toronto and works as a communications specialist and voice over actress in Ontario, Canada. She writes about strong, audacious, beautifully flawed Nigerian women much like the ones in her life.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 27, 2020
    Igharo debuts with a snappy look at the pressures of romantic and familial obligation among immigrant communities in modern-day Toronto. When Nigerian-born Azere Izoduwa was 12, she promised her dying father she would marry an Edo Nigerian man to keep their culture alive after the family immigrated to Canada. In the 13 years since, her mother has matched her with a series of unsuitable men. Following another failed date, Azere meets Rafael Castellano, a handsome, caring Canadian man to whom she is instantly attracted, and they share a single passionate night. The pair are reunited a month later when Rafael gets a job at the advertising agency where Azere is creative director. Though both agree to remain professional, the spark between them won’t die down. But Rafael is white, born of Spanish immigrants, and Azere has a promise to keep—a promise that grows harder to keep to when she learns their one-night stand resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. Though Azere’s passivity may frustrate some readers, Igharo brings a great deal of heart to Azere’s internal conflict as she navigates two cultures. This emotional debut marks Igharo as a writer to watch. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary.

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Ties That Tether
Jane Igharo
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