Make Your Home Among Strangers

by

Jennine Capó Crucet

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Make Your Home Among Strangers: Chapter 21 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
That night, once Lourdes and Leidy fall asleep, Lizet calls Omar on the kitchen phone. She is surprised at how good it feels to hear his voice. He is not angry with her, as she expected he would be; instead, he is sweet and flirty, and asks Lizet how her last week of school went—they have not talked in a while. He asks if he can come over tomorrow, on Christmas, and Lizet says he can—if he has a present for her. He says that he does; he got one a while ago.
It seems as if the fight with Lourdes actually did cause Lizet to think about what’s important to her—she seeks comfort in Omar, hoping that in reaching out to him she can satisfying her craving for company and recognition and maybe even smooth things over with Lourdes in the process.
Themes
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Immigration and Assimilation Theme Icon
Lizet tells Omar about the disastrous Noche Buena party. She lets him know that her entire family was asking about him—and that there was a place set for him at the table. Omar assures Lizet that everything between them is “cool,” and Lizet enthusiastically asks Omar to come by tomorrow as early as he can. They laugh and joke together a little more, the easy banter between them rekindled. As Lizet talks with Omar, she remembers how attracted she is to him—after hanging up, though, Lizet vows that she will not have sex with him. Sex with Omar means too much to her emotionally, and until she gets her grades for the semester back—and subsequently learns what her future at Rawlings will hold—she does not want to put herself in that situation.
Lizet wants comfort from Omar, but is unwilling to rekindle their sexual relationship as it requires too much of her emotionally. She is looking for comfort and stability, and yet knows that even if Omar is able to give her a modicum of those feelings, she will still feel anxious about her future—she knows those feelings will be compounded if they start having sex, and wants to avoid creating more problems for herself during an already strange and fraught trip home.
Themes
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Isolation Theme Icon
Over the rest of the break, though, Omar and Lizet have sex frequently. After the two drive out to the beach on Christmas day, Omar pulls out a box containing a simple diamond ring. Omar explains that though he isn’t asking Lizet to marry him right away, he wants to make their commitment to each other plain, so that “those nerds” up at Rawlings don’t get any ideas about coming onto Lizet. Lizet accepts the ring, and the two have sex on the beach—afterwards, Lizet finds that she cannot stop looking at her new ring; it is a ring that says, “You’re a good investment.”
Lizet is searching everywhere for someone to be proud of her and congratulate her for working so hard. Though the promise ring from Omar is hardly a reflection of or a reward for how hard she’s been working in school, it is still a token of recognition, and because of this it means a lot to Lizet.
Themes
Isolation Theme Icon
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