Make Your Home Among Strangers

by

Jennine Capó Crucet

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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 spend time with her, and invites her to multiple on-campus events, parties, and study sessions. As the two grow closer, a tension develops between them, and yet Lizet denies her feelings for Ethan until it is too late—when he is accepted into a Ph.D. program in Berkeley, California, Lizet is visibly upset, and Ethan is in turn hurt by her inability to be happy for him because of her unvoiced, unresolved feelings. Ethan and Lizet’s relationship ends in an anticlimax, with Ethan heading off to Berkeley with barely a word of goodbye to Lizet. She attempts to repair the relationship via email, but Ethan, it seems, has already moved on.
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Ethan Character Timeline in Make Your Home Among Strangers

The timeline below shows where the character Ethan appears in Make Your Home Among Strangers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11
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...and determines that his CD player set the scanner off. The boy introduces himself as Ethan; still dazed and distracted, Lizet does not introduce herself, replying only, “Okay.” Ethan, jokingly calling... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...dance floor, Lizet hears a voice calling to her—she turns around and realizes it is Ethan, from the library, who knows her only as “OK.” (full context)
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Ethan tries to engage Lizet in conversation, but she’s in party mode—she yawns and tells him... (full context)
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Ethan asks Lizet where she’s from, and she tells him she’s from Miami—she braces herself for... (full context)
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Jillian stumbles back over to Lizet, and tells her that Ethan is clearly into her before heading back out onto the dance floor. Lizet spots Jaquelin... (full context)
Chapter 14
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The next morning, after studying in the library for a few hours, Lizet heads to Ethan’s dorm for the ice-skating event he told her about. He greets her warmly and introduces... (full context)
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On the way over to the ice-skating rink, Lizet talks with Ethan and a few other students about the party the night before. It is very cold... (full context)
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...the first time and clumsily enters the rink. She hugs the railing but still keeps falling—Ethan comes over to help her off the ice after she falls for a third time,... (full context)
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Lizet bristles a little bit, worried that Ethan has sized her up and assumed she, too, can’t “afford” to be at Rawlings. She... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...Lizet is saying—when she looks up at him, she is reminded of looking up at Ethan at the dance party at Rawlings. Whereas the colorful beams at the Rawlings party illuminated... (full context)
Chapter 25
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After visiting the library to pick up her work-study schedule, Lizet runs into Ethan, who admits he’s been looking for her everywhere. They decide to get lunch and catch... (full context)
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Lizet, wanting to “protect” both Ethan and herself, decides to rework the truth. She moves her ring over to her other... (full context)
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As they eat their lunch, Ethan tells Lizet about a program he runs on campus—a standing study group called Happy Hours,... (full context)
Chapter 26
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...right hand. Jillian has noticed that the switch happened after Lizet went to lunch with Ethan. Jillian explains that she was just out at an a cappella event on campus where... (full context)
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During the second week of classes, Lizet decides to go to Ethan’s Happy Hours study session. When she arrives, though, she is the only one who has... (full context)
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...in Dr. Kaufmann’s class, and develops a friendly relationship with the professor. She continues attending Ethan’s Happy Hours, and meets some new people as more students start to attend. Meanwhile, Lizet... (full context)
Chapter 29
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Lizet considers talking to Ethan about the problems she’s having at home, but doesn’t want him to talk to her... (full context)
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Lizet arrives at Happy Hours to find that Ethan isn’t there yet. He comes bounding through the front door soon enough, though, with a... (full context)
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Ethan is upset that Lizet isn’t happy for him and won’t congratulate him. Lizet’s eyes fill... (full context)
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Lizet insists she’s happy for Ethan, but confused as to why he wouldn’t have told her about his plans earlier. Ethan... (full context)
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Ethan, confused and hurt as to why Lizet is reacting so badly to his news, tells... (full context)
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Lizet is alone in the dorms all of spring break—Jillian and Ethan are both away, so Lizet spends her days in the library, studying and writing (and... (full context)
Chapter 34
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...the security sensor. After one very long set of beeps, Lizet looks up to see Ethan standing right in front of her, waving a special-collections text through the sensors to get... (full context)
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Lizet tells Ethan that he looks like a different person—she is having trouble keeping the emotion out of... (full context)
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Instead of leaving, though, Ethan leans over Lizet’s desk and accuses her of being cruel to him. He has been... (full context)
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As Ethan hovers on the other side of the desk, Lizet thinks about the first day they... (full context)
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Lizet hears from Ethan only once more that semester, towards the end, when he writes her an email to... (full context)
Chapter 35
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...talk about her summer in New York, but she has had no more messages from Ethan. Professor Kaufmann has accidentally copied her on an email meant for the participants of the... (full context)
Chapter 36
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...event took place the summer before Lizet’s third year at Berkeley, where she “inadvertently” followed Ethan to grad school; he was gone, though, by the time she began her studies. She... (full context)
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...to her mother and Leidy—something she’d never done before. She had written an apology to Ethan over the summer, and though his response was short and vague, she felt inspired to... (full context)