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Publisher's Summary

Lizet, a daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school, secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite college. Her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami, and amid a painful divorce, her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and older sister, a newly single mom, without a steady income and scrambling for a place to live. Amid this turmoil, Lizet begins college, but the privileged world of the campus feels utterly foreign to her, as does her new awareness of herself as a minority. Struggling both socially and academically, she returns home for a Thanksgiving visit only to be overshadowed by the arrival of Ariel Hernandez, a young boy whose mother died fleeing with him from Cuba on a raft. The ensuing immigration battle puts Miami in a glaring spotlight, captivating the nation and entangling Lizet's entire family. Pulled between life at college and the needs of those she loves, Lizet is faced with hard decisions that will change her life forever. Her urgent, mordantly funny voice leaps off the page to tell this moving story of a young woman torn between generational, cultural, and political forces; it's the new story of what it means to be American today.

©2015 Jennine Capó Cruet (P)2015 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Make Your Home Among Strangers

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Tremendous Insight on 1st Gen College Students

I decided to listen to this book when I read in The Washington Post (10112019) that students at Georgia Southern University protested a visit by Crucet, during which she discussed white privilege. The protest included burning the book and trolling the author on social media. I was shocked both at the students' reaction and the university's failure to discipline them, but I am grateful that it drew me to Crucet's remarkable depiction of a Cuban-American young woman's experience as a first generation student in a mostly white college. While I am not a woman of color, I was a 1st gen student, so much of the story felt painfully familiar to me--not knowing the unwritten rules, not understanding how to leverage connections, not having the kind of family support available to students with college educated parents. Add simmering, liberal racism to that, and it was often a gut-wrenching experience. As a professor now, I am grateful for the reminder of my own struggle to claim a place in a more elite world as I work with 1st gen students on our campus. It's well worth the read for educators in particular, but all readers with a heart to understand the struggle to leave one's assigned place in American society will be richly illuminated by this book.

I'd add that I gave 4 stars for performance because I felt that Ramirez often over-acted rather than just reading the text, changing accents and over-emoting. I could've done without that.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Can Home Remain Home?

I found this novel quite compelling. It took an ordinary story about a girl's major step out of her comfort zone, and interwove it with the political story of the time. I found myself caught up in the emotions, and engaged in her fears, triumphs, and struggle for self identity. This narrative challenges the idea of home remaining home.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent & Timely

The experience of a Cuban Miami raised college student in the foreign world of East Coast Academia is heartfelt and accurate. The storyline features the conflicted Immigrant experience, the compulsion of extreme activism, the guilt of inaction in response to cultural battles, and the internal conflict that hinders action for personal self-interest. This book definitively covers it all in a manner that anyone from any background could understand. It should be on a required reading list for anyone pursuing a degree in humanities.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Entertaining and Informative

Enjoyed listening to the telling of the Elian Gonzalez story through the eyes of the fictionalized characters. Having lived in south Florida during the event it was enlightening to see it through Cuban eyes.

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Best narration I've heard

Not only is the story both poignant and humorous, the narration by Marisol Ramirez with all the subtle variations of Cuban and Cuban American accents is superb.

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Amazing

I loved this book and I could relate to a lot of the charcters struggles

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Interesting Story - Weird Editing

I think I would have gotten more out of this book if I had read it for myself instead of listening to it. The narrator did as well as she could, but whoever edited the book made her seem stilted and inconsistent.

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Great story! something for everyone!

loved it! great shared story for adults(parents or teachers) and teens alike. opens up conversation about what it means to leave home, be new somewhere else, and return home. especially good for first generation college families.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I would not recommend this book

The narrator is terrible. The story was.just alright. The word folded was used too many times. the flow of the story was not good. narrator paused too many times in the middle of sentences. I will avoid any books she is in.

2 people found this helpful