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Make Your Home Among Strangers

by Jennine Capó Crucet

Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet X
Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet
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There are currently 27 member reviews
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  • Maggie R. (Canoga Park, CA)
    Don't Miss This Book
    As a 70 year old reader, I'm often a bad fit for "coming of age" fiction. Lately, however, I've been moved by such novels as The Goldfinch and The Marriage Plot whose complex characters are struggling with weighty and ambivalent situations, make terrible choices but soldier on and find some kind of light at the end (middle?) of the tunnel.

    Here's another one - and how! Lizet and her family are maddeningly real. Her life remains up for grabs. It's she in fact self centered as her mother sees her? Selfish as her sister claims? There is an abundance of miscommunication involving everyone in her life. Read this book! It's going to be big.

    The writing never falters. I look forward to reading Jennine Capo Cruzet's short fiction, How to Leave Hialeah.
  • Susan S. (Lafayette, CA)
    An eye-opener and a good read
    This is an extremely entertaining and smart book about a young woman from Miami, the daughter of Cuban immigrants, who is the first person in her family to go to college and also the first person from her public high school to apply to and be accepted at the fictional Ivy League college in upstate New York. At her university we see that she struggles with being something of a fish out of water - she does not always understand the rules and mores, while the university administration and the other students make incorrect assumptions about her. But in addition, she also no longer really fits in at home with her family, where they have no comprehension of her new life. The book was quite an eye-opener for me, as it brought up issues I had never thought about, and it is also just a good read.
  • Nancy F. (Carmel, IN)
    Loved the "tongue in cheek" humor!
    This is the first novel in awhile that I just laughed out loud!
    The author's ability to create scenes that are far from my middle class experiences in life were amazing. I enjoyed getting to "know" Lizet and felt great empathy as she attempted to fit in to another world. This novel helped me realize and become more aware of the cultural divide we have in this country.
  • Terrie J. (Eagan, MN)
    A great novel debut
    I really enjoyed this book. It combined history (Ariel Hernandez arriving from Cuba) with a young woman's story of leaving home and struggling with college due to an inferior high school education. There were family struggles, friendship collisions and a young love gone awry. The characters were so real and varied - they held your interest throughout the book. I couldn't wait to see how the different character's stories would play out. The end was a surprise to me. I would highly recommend this book.
  • Sally H. (Geneva, OH)
    Make Your Home Among Strangers
    In her debut novel, Crucet wrestles with illegal immigration, cultural differences and expectations, family dysfunction and loyalty, and issues encountered by low-income students attending expensive, prestigious schools and by first-generation Americans who are the first in their families to attend college - - and masterfully weaves it all into a memorable story. She shows us that although we are all products of our upbringing, it is possible, sometimes inevitable, and often desirable to move beyond what we came from. Hers is a talent to watch, and I am already anxiously awaiting her next book. I plan to put Make Your Home Among Strangers on my book club's list for 2016.
  • Sharon B. (Rome, GA)
    Make Your Home Among Strangers
    Lizet Ramirez is a first-generation Cuban American, the daughter of parents who fled the Communist Castro regime to a new life among strangers in the United States. She is the first in her family to go to college and the first from her Miami high school to be admitted to an elite northern college. Her struggles and experiences during her freshman year coincide with a major news event in her old neighborhood – the rescue of a young boy from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean after his mother drowns in her attempt to escape from Cuba. This part of the novel is based on the true story of Elian Gonzalez but his name has been changed to Ariel Hernandez in the book. Lizet is torn between loyalty to her family and forging a new life and identity for herself. This was an interesting book, full of imperfect but likeable characters. The author realistically portrayed the difficult decisions and conflicting emotions of a young woman who is moving beyond her family and upbringing to a more educated and professional existence, once again among strangers.
  • Lisa G. (Riverwoods, IL)
    Make Your Home Among Straingers
    This was a captivating glimpse into the life of a first generation Cuban American woman who was torn between her family and heritage and striking out on her own. The story grabbed me from the very beginning when I wondered if the plight of the 6 year old Cuban boy who was rescued from the ocean was meant to parallel the true story of Elian Gonzalez the young boy who was also rescued and returned to Cuba after much political turmoil. I found myself very engaged in the author's style of writing and think this would be a good book for a book group.

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