Make Your Home Among Strangers


Jennine Capó Crucet

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Make Your Home Among Strangers Characters

Lizet Ramirez

The protagonist of the novel, Lizet Ramirez is a first-generation Cuban-American and the first person in her family to go off to college. Lizet is intense, reflective, and deeply insecure. Throughout the course of the… read analysis of Lizet Ramirez

Leidy Ramirez

Leidy Ramirez is Lizet’s older sister and Lourdes and Ricky’s daughter. A single mother to Dante, Leidy is practical, hardworking, and has never entertained dreams of achieving the things Lizet dreams of… read analysis of Leidy Ramirez

Lourdes Ramirez (Lizet’s Mother)

Lourdes Ramirez is Lizet and Leidy’s mother and Ricky’s wife. Lourdes, devastated by Lizet’s departure for college and her husband’s abandonment, seeks to fill the void left in her life by throwing herself… read analysis of Lourdes Ramirez (Lizet’s Mother)

Ricky Ramirez (Lizet’s Father)

Ricky Ramirez is Lizet and Leidy’s father. He is a Cuban immigrant who dropped out of high school to start a family with Lourdes when she became pregnant over twenty years ago. Ricky has always… read analysis of Ricky Ramirez (Lizet’s Father)


Lizet’s high-school sweetheart, Omar, is a tough but sensitive boy—obsessed with his Acura Integra, Omar goes through the motions of school and work hoping all the while that Lizet will return to Miami and… read analysis of Omar
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Jillian is Lizet’s freshman roommate at Rawlings College in New York. Jillian is a beautiful, privileged girl from “the good part” of New Jersey, who has a lot of high-minded—but deeply offensive—ideas about race… read analysis of Jillian


Ethan is a senior at Rawlings College who is drawn to Lizet after they meet at the library. Ethan knows that Lizet has a boyfriend back home, and respects her boundaries; nonetheless, he wants to… read analysis of Ethan

Professor Kaufmann

Professor Kaufmann is Lizet’s professor during her second-semester practical lab class. Dr. Kaufmann notices Lizet’s enthusiasm and aptitude for lab research early on and takes Lizet under her wing, offering her the chance to… read analysis of Professor Kaufmann


Caridaylis is Ariel Hernandez’s cousin. A young woman not much older than Lizet, Caridaylis becomes Ariel’s primary caretaker and most fierce protector during his stay in the United States. It is eventually revealed that… read analysis of Caridaylis


Victor is a young man about Lizet’s age who attended her high school. Victor’s grandmother is involved with the Ariel Hernandez case and the Madres Para Justicia—and by proxy, so is Victor. Lizet meets… read analysis of Victor
Minor Characters
Leidy’s infant son.
Dante’s father and Leidy’s ex-boyfriend from high school, the aloof Roly wants nothing to do with either of them and is never seen within the novel’s pages.
Jaquelin Medina
A Latina student from California whom Lizet befriends.
A girl who lives in Lizet’s dorm at Rawlings.
A girl who lives in Lizet’s dorm at Rawlings.
Dean Geller
One of the deans who sits on the Academic Integrity Committee at Rawlings. She shows Lizet some empathy and kindness, whereas the other members of the committee talk down to Lizet and accuse her of profound ignorance.
A kind administrative secretary at Rawlings.
Ricky’s brother.
Zoila and Lourdes are cousins, but they refer to one another as sisters. When she first arrived from Cuba, Lourdes lived with Zoila and Zoila’s mother.
Ricky’s new roommate.
A police officer who Leidy begins dating and then marries near the end of the book.